I can’t stand dim light.
I love Florida’s bright sunlight and I love bright light in my home.
Now that I’m old, bright light isn’t just an indulgence, it is a necessity for me to be able to see.
When other folks are in my home, they are constantly turning lights out and I come along behind them and turn them right back on.
Yes, I realize we have to be energy-conscious. I realize that our government is trying to ensure that we use less energy.
New lights have tiny candelabra bulbs.
New bulbs are ugly and spiral but energy saving. I try to use them, but the ones that give off adequate light won’t even fit in new fixtures, because the sockets have been downsized to accommodate tiny bulbs.
I am frustrated.
I voice my complaints to that argumentative alter-ego of mine, Nurse Judy.
As usual, she is not helpful.
“You are so selfish,” she says. “You should be worrying about how you waste energy. The world must conserve its resources and you are very wasteful.”
I hang my head. She’s right.
I turn off my desk lamp. I write my stories for The Herald and find they are full of typos. I turn the desk lamp back on and turn out the overhead light.
I reach for my coffee and knock it on the floor.
I mop up the mess, grab a flashlight and turn off all the office lights.
I make my way into the living room.
I trip over a scatter rug and find myself scattered on the floor. The hard landing has knocked the flashlight from my hands and the light has gone off.
I roll around on the floor trying to find something to grab onto to pull myself up with. I cannot even identify the objects I roll into.
Maybe I’ve rolled into someone else’s home.
I hear Nurse Judy hissing, “Idiot!”
That gives me the extra adrenaline I need to climb on the davenport.
I search around for a remote to turn on the TV. That will give off enough light for me to maneuver around and find the light switch.
“Ah,” I sigh as my fingers close around it. I press the button.
The security alarm goes off. Oops, wrong remote.
I quickly turn it back off, but that has prompted the security company to call me. The phone is ringing. I try to follow the sound, but trip over the cat.
Back on the floor again, I feel a hard lump under my abdomen. It is the flashlight.
I turn it on, haul myself up again and turn on the lights. It may be dim, but it is light. I answer the phone and tell the security folks I don’t need EMS.
I can hear the sirens in the distance. I sit down and vow to not complain about dim light anymore.
I tell this to Nurse Judy.
She looks at me.
“Idiot,” she says. “Dim light is your best friend. With your ravaged looks, the dimmer the better.”
That, my friends, is the day I became a conservationist.