An Electrician I’m Not

Can’t we all just get along?  And by we, I mean me and any one of the items on my July To-Do list. Seriously, can nothing be easy?  Even simple tasks are turning into nightmare projects.

My friend giggled at my To-Do list because I included “Change light bulbs in laundry room” as an item.  My idea was that even on a day when I didn’t feel up to par, I could at least accomplish something small and not lose momentum in reaching my goals.  Besides, to change the lightbulbs in the laundry room, I have to stand on a ladder and endure the smell of dog since the poop machine sleeps in there in rainy weather.  It is no small task.

Boy, isn’t that statement the understatement of the year.  It is definitely no small task.

I removed the glass and cleaned it, and then started to remove the light bulbs.  The casing that the bulbs screw into was cracked and had seen it’s better days.  No problem.  The fixture is outdated anyway.  I’ll just get a new one.  Simple enough.  More than the five minutes originally allotted for this item on the list, but I can handle it.

I drove to Lowe’s and bought a fixture and went home to tackle the new task.  When I removed the old fixture from the ceiling, I got a bit woozy, which isn’t a good idea on a ladder.  OH MY WORD.  The wires were burned.  The wire caps burned and crumbling.  The screws that were holding the fixture to the junction box just broke away.  The junction box in the ceiling was completely charred.  It screamed FIRE HAZARD.

Okay, deep breath.  I can handle this.  Remove the junction box and head back to Lowe’s for a replacement.  (I really need to buy stock in Lowe’s.)  What the…?  The old charred box is nailed to the ceiling joist.  Really?  Really?

I went into the attic to see if I could find the joist and…I have no idea what I was gonna do if I found it, but it sounded logical.  I went into the blistering hot attic.  All I saw was insulation.

New plan.  I need a new plan. Search the internet for a solution.  Hmmm…obviously, that big virus this week affected my internet and translated all solutions into Greek.  Ugh.   I must ask for help.

Houston, we have a problem.  I absolutely hate to ask for help.  I appreciate getting help, but that’s not the same as asking for it.  Asking for help is like waving the white flag and surrendering to failure.  I hate to fail.  I. HATE. IT.

The alternative is washing clothes in the dark forever and ever.  I considered that option much longer than you would expect.

Then I caved.  I emailed my friend’s husband, who I fully believe is THE Mr. Fix It.  He called me, chuckling.  I’m sure that my email sounded desperate and the electrical terms weren’t even close to real terms.  He said that he would put on his Super-Friend cape and come over to look at my light “thingy” that was burned.

He noticed two things wrong right off the bat.  It was burned.  And nailed to the ceiling joist.  But those two facts didn’t seem to send him in search of a paper bag to breath into like they did to me.  He just got to work drilling the old junction box out and installing the new one.  He said, “Do you want me to go ahead and hang the new light fixture while I’m here?  I know how much you like to do these things on your own.”

Turns out that I’m totally over that.  Knock yourself out.  Replace away.

He did, and I am proud to say that I have a new light fixture in the laundry room.  And I can cross “Change lightbulbs” off of my To-Do List.  And it only took me (or him) a few hours to do it.



  1. I think it’s a good thing you put that on your list, and better to have to ask for help in replacing the light fixture instead of a place to sleep for you all when your house burned down – YIKES! Glad you avoided catastrophe!

  2. That was such an “I love Lucy” moment….. Your her 2012…

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