I remember when we moved into the house on Illinois street in 1993 there were so many things I envisioned for that house. And over the years most of those changes happened. We are leaving that house so much better than we found it—a new oak floor where there was ratty brown carpet, tile where there was canary yellow formica, rebuilt front stairs that are deep and level and don't feel like they will pitch you off the porch head-first. We restored the ceilings to their original height, all the while cursing whoever decided to "modernize" the house by dropping those ceilings. Lots more improvements. Lots. It was an ongoing project all the years we lived there. And I remember looking at the little sconce lights in the bathroom and thinking, "those will go..." But they never did.
Somehow, over the years, as we worked on big projects, this little project was overlooked. Isn't it interesting how you stop seeing things like this after awhile? Even, several years ago when we made some big changes in that bathroom, again I thought about replacing those lights, and, again, I didn't do it. So, last week when our realtor said to do something about the bright brass fixtures, they were right there in front of me again. I picked up some glass shades at the Rebuilding Center a couple days ago ($2 each) and yesterday took them and my can of spray paint to the old house. It took me a couple hours, including drying time, and I wondered why I had not done this years ago.
They could have looked like this for all those years.
While the paint was drying on the sconces yesterday I drove across town to the Habitat for Humanity Rebuild Center to see if they had an old fixture that would work to replace the bright brass fixture in the living room. As I walked in off the street, I was looking up at the light fixtures hanging overhead and missed seeing an uneven little curb. I stumbled and fell into the store. I landed on my knees and as I was falling I grabbed onto something, where my finger became entangled in a handle. Maybe it was a refrigerator—there were a bunch of appliances sitting around there. Anyway, it was pretty much a blur, but I found myself on my hands and knees on the concrete. No one—NO ONE!—made a move to help me up, or even ask if I was OK. It was as if I were invisible. A man walked right past me out onto the street, very consciously looking past me as if I would think he didn't see me. I could tell I was not badly hurt, though I did wonder if my finger was broken, and my knees were throbbing with pain. It was an effort to get to my feet and I could have used a hand. I am still astounded that the several people who surely saw me fall chose to ignore me. I don't know what to make of it. I see people helping strangers all the time. Last year when Beth fell a very kind woman helped her up and offered to drive her home or to the emergency room. I have, myself, stopped to help someone who fell. So, I can't conclude that such compassion is dead, but yesterday I did not come home with a very high opinion of my fellow citizens. And the store did not have anything even remotely like what I need.
I don't think my finger is broken. It is not that painful. But it is still very swollen and I can't bend it.