Night Lights

led clockNo one but a few regular readers may have noticed but I have.  I haven’t posted since May 24th.   That may be the longest period of time between posts since I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  I miss it.   If you are not a writer, that probably makes no sense to you.  If you miss it, then do it, you say. I’ve tried.  There are half a dozen stalled attempts waiting patiently on my WordPress dashboard waiting patiently for me to finish them.  Here I am, trying again.   This time, I have a theme … Things That Have Changed Since I was Young.  That should cover a few posts, don’t you think?  You may think, Here he goes, pining for the good old days, talking about how much better things used to be.  There may be some of that but what I have in mind is something smaller and simpler, changes without social consequences or value judgements.  No, I can’t promise my Inner Curmudgeon won’t have some cranky opinions but isn’t that what Curmudgeons do?  Anyway, let me give you an example.

A few nights ago, I was finishing up my last game of Classic Words on my tablet.  The lights in our bedroom were out and my wife, Muri, was snoringcw softly.  I turned my tablet off, plugged it into the charger and made my way to the bed, being careful not to trip over the pair of shoes I always leave out.  As I climbed into bed, I looked back at the room …  a dozen tiny lights pierced the darkness.  The LED on my phone was glowing red to tell me it wasn’t through charging and amber one on the cable box said it was standing by.  The time glowed in red, blue and green respectively on Muri’s alarm clock, mine and the cable box.  Naturally, the times didn’t agree.  On the wall, the carbon monoxide detector winked green to tell me it was doing its job, keeping me safe from an invisible enemy, and on the ceiling above, the smoke alarm did the same.  Intrigued, I got up and walked though the house.  Every room glowed with illuminated times and tiny colored lights.  The kitchen offered competing times on the oven, microwave and coffee make.  The blue LED on the dishwasher signaled the dishes were done and a green light on the master GFCI power outlet assured me that the circuit breaker had not blown.  In the family room, the Tivo glowed green … if it was recording, it would change to red.  The wi-fi range extender twinkled and flashed with each digital message from the router upstairs in my office you where can practically read by the light of the electronics.

When I was a kid, I tried hard to be asleep before my parents went to bed.  As you probably know, trying hard to go to sleep is not a great strategy for SCARYsleeping.  I knew the themes song of the TV shows my parents watched and knew that when I heard the closing theme of their ten o’clock show the house would soon be dark.   No glowing LEDs or digital clocks to keep me company.  Really dark.  Would an assortment of multi-colored LEDs reassured me or morphed into the eyes of scary creatures peering at me in the darkness?  Perhaps I’ll ask my grandsons.

If you are waiting for a point, there isn’t one except that the world has changed a lot in sixty years.  Technology has pervaded our lives and houses.   It is everywhere around us but takes a seventy-two year old man who slept in a pitch black bedroom to notice the evidence everywhere around us in the Night Lights.

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2 Comments on “Night Lights”

  1. Tee Says:

    I hadn’t noticed … probably because I’ve been failing to write with any consistency myself. I refuse to give it up completely though. I’m glad you found your way back to writing. You’re good at it. It would be a shame if you quit completely.

    You may have a few years on me, but I remember pitch black nights too. The closest thing I can find today is a night at the family cabin up north. But even there, you’ll find a couple of digital displays. But the absence of commercial lighting in the area makes for heavenly nighttime skies!


  2. Boy, do I understand your first paragraph. I have literally 42 draft posts. I read an interview with Louis C.K. in Vulture yesterday where he said (you’ll have to pardon his trademark brashness), ” Even great writers usually write shit. Being a great writer means writing shitty stuff and not giving up. It doesn’t mean you just sit down and it comes out beautiful.” Oh. That’s right. I forgot.

    Funny you mention all the twinkling lights in your house. I’ve been on vacation in the Outer Banks, and the houses where I was staying (two different gatherings of people) had no alarm clocks or, for that matter, clocks in any room except the kitchen. I found I didn’t mind it much. Granted, I had my phone with me. But I usually can’t stand not having a clock to reference.

    And in the kitchen of the second house, there were three competing times on the oven, microwave and stove. Which drives me nuts.


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