2011.02.09 In the dark

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Sometimes it seems as though I must be in training for the failing eyesight of old age. That must be the reason I do so much in the dark.

The other morning, for example, I came downstairs to do the usual: I walk through the dining room doorway and into the living room to turn on a lamp and turn up the heat.

I could turn on the overhead light before I walk in, but I don’t want all that brightness. I just want the small light, enough to see the thermostat and guide the way to my computer.

So I always walk across the dark room to the lamp, but that particular morning was different. I nearly performed some acrobatics tripping over the small stool that had never been in that location before. Hmmm, I wonder who would have left it there.

That’s clearly a hazard of walking in the dark, but Colleen might suggest that I deserve it. I walk down the stairs in the morning in the dark (sometimes surprised by a pair of shoes at the bottom); she, on the other hand, turns on the light. I go for the not-so-bright fluorescent over the sink in a dark kitchen; she’ll take the bright overhead.

I’ll leave the bathroom light out if it’s a brief visit to wash my hands, for example. Colleen will later note the dirt left in the sink—that I never saw in the dark. I’m still washing in the dark, but I’m generally remembering to rinse out the sink when I’m done.

Like the morning walk, the darkened bathroom can present its challenges. Last week I start rubbing hand cream on my dry hands and soon discovered it was someone else’s hair gel. What a slimy mistake that was. I probably deserved that, too, for accidentally using someone else’s toothbrush in the dark. The toothbrush holder had been moved and mine had changed its position.

There are a couple of rather famous incidents from my dark past. Fifteen or 20 years ago I ate a salad in the dark because of a thunderstorm. The electricity was still on; I just wanted to watch the lightning and you can’t do that in a lighted room.

I found the bowl of left-over salad, added some of Paul Newman’s salad dressing, and sat down at the kitchen table to eat and watch the show. 

I can’t remember how I eventually discovered that I had the compost bowl of vegetable peelings and such, but it wasn’t bad at all with a good dressing.

When Brad Whitehouse was working with me, I came up with the idea of walking the path along Bean Creek in the dark. No flashlight. We just slowly made our way to the Tourist Camp without falling into the water or acquiring poison ivy.

It was inspired by something I heard on BBC radio about the pleasures of night walking. Brad and I made it there and back all right and I suppose I would describe it as somewhat of a pleasure.

On Wednesday mornings I take the newspapers to the post office and I never turn on the hallway light on my way downstairs. I know where my coat and shoes are located.

Many times I’ve stopped into the Observer office after hours to quickly get something, so I don’t turn on the lights. Of course I’ve tripped over chairs and a waste basket, I’ve run into counters or unexpectedly encountered the Linotype.

There are times when I awaken at 3:33 and finally get bored and get up. You think I’m going to turn on a light for that? No, I wander downstairs and I can gaze out the window at the night world and if it’s warm weather, open a door and step out on the porch to listen to the night noises. You can’t do that with a light on.

Colleen may complain about my darkness, but she also forces it on me. For several months of the year, I dress in the dark. She’s the midnight muser who sleeps in later than I. I can’t imagine the ruckus that would result if I were so bold as to turn on a light at 7 a.m.

She has no sympathy for my morning dressing adventure—she has no idea how many times I put on shirts and underwear backwards—but it might become a year-round challenge. 

There’s generally a little window light coming through, but last night she asked what I thought about buying a black-out curtain for our bedroom.

No thanks. If we’re under an air raid warning, I’ll gladly just sit in the dark.

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017