Saturday, January 30, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 26

#26 – “Always turn the lights off when you leave a room. It saves electricity and helps keep the house cooler.”
(Photo is of my San Antonio Grandkids, Cassie, Will & Syd)
People often ask me, “Do you really have a hundred things, or is that just a catchy title.” I really do have one hundred things. Actually I think it’s right around 103, but who’s counting. Sometimes though I can’t decide which lesson to write about. I just read through them waiting for my muse to jump out. This morning I guess my muse slept in, so when Crouse-y-poo (the husband) wandered through, I said, “Pick a number between 26 and 103.” He picked 87, and #87 on the list became #26, and today’s topic.

You know how when you were a kid and your mom would say things so many times that you just wanted to run out of the house screaming? Well, that’s my #26, “Always turn the lights off when you leave a room. It saves electricity and helps keep the house cooler.” And you know how one day you’re just tootling along and all of a sudden you realize that you’re going room to room, turning lights off, and you get wide-eyes and shriek, “Oh my gaud! I’m turning into my mother!” Yep, I thought so.
Like the nursery rhyme, “Jack Sprat could eat no fat and his wife could eat no lean,” my mate wants every light and TV in the house on, and I want them all off (the fat and lean thing applies to us as well actually). I think his thing is about visual stimulation (and watching Star Trek 24-7), mine’s about … well I’m not sure what it’s about. I guess like the Manchurian Candidate, my mom’s Chinese “Repetition” torture is irreversibly gouged into my psyche. I’m programmed to wander, room to room, in a hypnotized stupor, automatically turning off everything in my path.

Of course back in my mom’s “day” and actually even when I was a kid, we didn’t have much money, and no air conditioning, so turning the lights off was a practical thing. And really, it is just as important today in terms of the big environmental picture, burn less energy, etc.

But mostly, I think I do it to irritate my husband. He’s just so cute when he gets riled up. And honestly, how much Star Trek in a single day is good for you? If I never have to see another Ferengi (the guys on Star Trek with the pointed teeth), it will be too soon. I have an inexplicable aversion to pointed teeth, which is why I cannot tolerate Willem Dafoe.

So mom was right. Always turn the lights off when you leave a room, because it saves electricity, helps keep the house cooler - And not insignificantly, it saves your better half from another day lost “exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, and boldly going where no one has gone before.”



  1. What a sweet photo of your San Antonio grandkids! I'll bet they are as sweet as their mom! Charlena

  2. I love this photo too! JoLene's sister-in-law, Mary and Will Harper gave it to us as a Christmas present, in a beautiful silver Smith and Hawkins frame. And yes, they are nearly as sweet as their mom, and may very well be as sweet as they blossom, as my Jolene has so beautifully blossomed over the years.