formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, December 1, 2008

Let There Be... Dark...

There is an old wives' tale that says when a lightbulb blows out, it means there's a spirit in the room. It's something to do with the spirit's energy... I guess it's supposed to be like a power surge. I don't know. I do know, however, that after my father died, my entire family blew a lot of lightbulbs. A lot. I even had an electrician come into our house to make sure we didn't have something wrong with our wiring. It was bizarre. It was also kind of cool. I felt like my dad was there with me... and I really needed that.

It happened for quite a while, too, on and off. And yes, I know everyone blows bulbs... but there were times when the occurence was a little less like an old lightbulb and a little more like a 'Ghost Hunters' episode.

When my daughter and niece (both born a few months after my father died), were about three-years-old, they found these little bicentennial American flags that used to sit in a stand on my dad's desk. I should tell you that my dad was very patriotic and he was very, very careful about the way he treated the flag. It had to be flown, folded, and discarded properly, with reverence... always. Anyway, these little flags were attached to sticks with very pointy ends and I was afraid the girls were going to poke each others' eyes out, so I took them. Because they were old and because my mother had enough old stuff cluttering up the house, I asked, "Can I just throw these away?" She said yes. Just as I was (unceremoniously) dropping them into the trash can, she turned on the light... and the bulb sparked, crackled loudly, and blew out. Those flags were out of the garbage before my mother could even say my name, and I was whispering, "Sorry, Dad" as I put them back where the girls found them!

I haven't blown any lightbulbs in a long time. And let me tell you, I wouldn't mind having to replace a couple right about now.

21 comments:

Lee said...

As nice as it would be for your Dad to be watching over you, would you want him to be watching you assist your dog do his 'business'?

Shanna said...

LOL that's awesome!!
I'd never heard that wives tale before, but I believe it - when my grandma died one of the things I brought back to my house was a lamp of hers. It used to turn on by itself and I wondered if it was her...even though it's opposite of the wives tale, it's still something nice to think about ;)

Heinous said...

So does switching to compact fluorescent bulbs muck about with the wives' tale?

Aizan Suhaira said...

I really like this story.

I have lots of blown lightbulbs in my apartment too. But that's just because they're the cheap kind that doesn't last too long. It especially has a short lifespan because I sometimes sleep with the lights on (No, I'm not afraid of ghosts.. just too sleepy to turn them off).

Heather said...

I love this. I had not heard that story before, about spirits blowing bulbs, but you know...it makes a little sense. At least to me. I've had perfectly good, NEW bulbs blow out on me in a matter of days.
Right after my ex died, the house I was living in blew bulbs ALL the time. Like you, my roommate and I thought there was an electrical problem. I wonder if it was just Chuck saying hey? That would be nice. :)

Andy said...

Very cool story... just too bad your dad couldn't have the lights flicker or something so you wouldn't keep blowing bulbs left and right.

Diane said...

Lee... I feel certain that if my dad was watching me yesterday, he rolled off his cloud laughing. I expect he does that a lot when watching me. I inspire guffaws.

Shanna... I bet it was her :)

H... dunno. I expect the principle is the same.


Aizan... yeah, those cheap bulbs suck :)

Heather... that's why I had the electrician in... new bulbs were blowing right after I put them in. I'm sorry about your ex, but it is nice to think he was letting you know he was still around :)

Andy... yeah, it did get expensive there for a while :) I remember when Ryan was little and her bedroom light blew, she shook her little fist to the ceiling and said, "Grandpa, stop that! Money doesn't grow on trees, you know!" Yeah... she's totally my kid :)

Mel said...

I don't know whether I ever told you this or not, but there are two street lamps that go out as I pass under them every night. They don't blow out, as they're always on the next night. One is right outside the parking lot at work, and one is on Sam Newell, right before I get home. It started happening right after Grandpa John died, and even though he was an ornery cuss so much of the time, I like to think that's his way of kind of watching over my ride home (especially when I leave so late from work) from the beginning of the trip to the end.

Protege said...

Diane, I like this touching story, as no matter what one believes, the presence of someone we hold dear and their love is ever so evident, no matter where they are.
The love of your father is always around, even if physically he has long passed on.

Solei said...

I'd never heard of this wive's tale before, but I loved it! Your story that is.... Very touching!
=0D

Mama Wheaton said...

Your story was very touching. It must be nice to have such warm memories of someone who loved you so much.

Sam_I_am said...

I'd never heard that before. We haven't had any blow in awhile, but they used to pop all the time in our kitchen.

SouthernBelle said...

Yeah I had never heard this (or had anything as spooky-Mulder happen to me) but I like it.

Live More Now (LMN) said...

I like this post. Having lost my own mother, I look for things like this to keep her close. Often the connection comes through my dreams. She also had a special place in her heart for birds, and she said if she were to visit us, it would be in bird form. So I am constantly looking around and wondering now about birds. I have had several very special bird moments since her death when I never had them before.

Here's to hoping some of your lightbulbs flicker off soon.

San Diego Momma said...

I love the light bulb theory. And that your dad's blowing them out. I'm with you: I'd love to replace a couple bulbs myself right now.

mo.stoneskin said...

I believe that when a light bulb dies a ghost gets an electric shock.

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

My cousin and I were working on my aunts chicken farm over the weekend. We were actually working i one of the house that we replaced all the bulbs in the day before. While we were joking and having a great time all the sudden the bulbs all blew out. I bet it was our grandparents (the original owners of the farm) telling us to stop goofing off and get to spreading that fed. LOL.

Don't worry my Christmas cheer will fade out very fast once I start buying gifts and stressing about money which I estimate will happen in about 2 days! then I'll smack myself :)

Sam_I_am said...

I tagged you for a meme :-D

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Wow, that's really weird. I have had a lot of experiences like this and I firmly believe that spirits are always with us.

--even if they aren't blowing lightbulbs. Don't worry, he's still with you...

Blarney said...

I just looked up and have 2 out of 5 out and the hair on the back of my neck is standing on end. I guess I should be glad they aren't out in the bedroom ...not that anything exciting is going on there but still kinda creepy.

Anonymous said...

This is a very old post but I liked it and wanted to say a few words. My late grandpa Joe was a very superstitious man. From do not walk under ladders, step on cracks to putting his finger in his mouth and putting a cross on the inside of the windshield when a black cat crossed the street in front of him. He also very much believed in the light bulb theory. I am not overboard on any of this but firmly believe we are not alone in this amazing world. Good story which I enjoyed reading and all comments that followed. The reason I found this article is I have a light bulb in my kitchen that is playing all sorts of games with me. My next step is getting the 8ft ladder out to see if it just needs screwed in tighter, 10ft ceilings are a bit of a challenge.