Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Hall Light

I KNOW I have never written about this before.  And why not?  It was so much a part of my daily life in that little house on Second Avenue.

These days you have what is known as a night light.  Not so when I was growing up.  So my dad, ingeniously, or otherwise, devised his own night light.

The house had two bedrooms, separated by a bathroom room, and a short hall joining the two bedrooms.  On the ceiling of the hallway there was a ceiling fixture.  Into that fixture my dad put a small wattage (25 watts) light bulb, and that light was left on all night long.

It was a comfort for us children because while the door to the bedroom was closed, it wasn't closed al the way.  It was left open a crack, just enough light to keep the children from "dark" nightmares. 

And I suppose it was left on so that when mom and/or dad got up in the middle of the night (after four children, I'm sure my mom did -- it's a woman thing) the light would lighten the way to the bathroom.  The switch for the hall light was on the right of the hall doorway as you were entering it from the dining room, but it wasn't close enough for mom or day to put the light off when they went to bed ir they knew it was going to be needed in the middle of the night, whether it was because of a child who had the croup or because a child had a nightmare or a parent had to use the facility. 

[Note: the location of the switch is murky in my mind, but I know that the thermostat was on the left side as you entered the hall, so I'm thinking the light switch was on the right.]

Some of the comforts of childhood are so obvious that we forget them.  Having that hall lit and having just a crack of that light showing through the doorway, was a comfort for the Drexler children.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I must still need a lot of comfort. I've got little night lights all over this place -- and I take a red-lens flashlight with me to the bathroom in mid-night!

-Bill T.