LIGHTIt’s January, and Alaska is cautiously withdrawing small amounts of sunlight stored last year during Daylight Saving Time. We’re cashing out a few minutes each day, so that by the Vernal Equinox on March 20 we’ll have equal amounts of day and night. After that, for a while, we’ll have more sunlight than we know what to do with. As some now curse the darkness, some will then go to extremes to banish light–at least between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. I remember reading that Elvis had Las Vegas hotel room windows covered with aluminum foil so he could sleep in the daytime after performing all night.

Anyway, in what some people call the Dark Time, I have abundant light. Lots of it. So much,  that I took  inventory. And what better way to spend a few minutes on a rainy, blustery January Day? I’m not about to slog up Reber Trail in rain gear and cleats. I don’t do needlecrafts, and I can’t bear the thought of organizing documents for my tax return. I have enough soup in the freezer to last until June, and I’ve made muffins with rice flour. Not great, by the way. I threw them over the deck for the neighbors’ dogs to snack on while they’re out relieving themselves in my back yard.

I have a total of 38 can lights in the ceilings throughout my house, plus sconces in the stairway and the bathrooms, plus overhead bathroom lights. Lights over the stove and inside it; in the refrigerator and microwave. Closet lights, porch lights front and back. In my office, two desk lights and a SADD light, which I call HAPPY.

Do computer screens count as lights? TV screens? Modems and routers? I have several of these. There’s my iPhone and alarm clocks, and tiny green lights in the controls for the air exchange system. Flashlights and one night light downstairs. Car lights, exterior and interior. Electric window candles that I couldn’t bear to put away with the Christmas decorations.  Wax candles on the dining table and coffee table, and on a corner cabinet in the living room. Candles in the bathrooms, though their true purpose is not lighting.

Lamps. Numerous lamps throughout the house, but probably a dozen less than I had in Atlanta. That’s counting the ones Stet and Typo broke and those I gave away when I moved.

If I bought lamp oil at Ulmer’s Everything-But-Groceries-and-Pets, I could include oil lamps in the inventory. And that might be a good idea, because as I sit here and write in the glow of the HAPPY light, I realize how dependent I am on Homer Electric Association. And light bulb and battery manufacturers.

I’m a pretty good cheechako, but I wouldn’t make it as a pioneer.
Copyright 2013-2014 Genie Hambrick

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