A Very Small Big Thing

Bathroom lights. No big deal, right? Well, it has become a big deal at my house. Actually, the entire bathroom has become a very big deal here.

“How is that possible?” you ask. “Start at the beginning Granny.”

OK! In the beginning, God said . . . . .

“No, not that beginning!”

Oh, right! Well, when Gramps and I built our house, we put carpet in our bathroom. I know, I know! It’s a travesty! But sweet Gramps has tender toes that hate to be on a cold floor and he begged for a carpeted bathroom and I love him dearly and I gave in and we had carpet in our bathroom. There you have it!

Jump 20 some years ahead. We still have a carpeted bathroom. We are selling our house. Carpeted bathrooms are a huge no-no. So out comes the warm cozy stuff under Gramps feet. Now big decisions have to be made. Flooring has changed a lot in 20 years, I have discovered.

Oh, my Sweeties! I found THE most wondrous thing – tile that looks like wood! You heard me!! It is the shape, color, feel, and look of wood but the care and maintenance of ceramic tile. How perfect for a bathroom can that be? I practically knocked over 6 people getting to the order desk.

My bathroom, newly repainted and retiled, looked like a photo from BH&G magazine. Well, except for the lights. They now looked very, very dated. Like from the ’80’s. Which would be right because that’s when the house was built!

The lights were those strips of open bulbs aka theater makeup lighting. I disliked them for most of the years I had them.They were too bright and too hot, especially in the summer. Most of the time, every second or third bulb was turned off purposely for those reasons. Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I didn’t change them out years ago. Laziness I guess. Oh, the ruts we get into!

They had to go the way of the carpeting – out, out, out! A small thing – just replace the lights. Well, first I had to find new lights the right size to cover the holes in the wallpaper made by the old lights. No small feat.

Then I had to decide what metal and finish. You see, brass is so passe’. It was so in, in the ’80’s, but no more. Who knew? Now, It’s chrome, nickel, bronze, matte, brushed, shiny and on and on. I chose a matte chrome – shiny looks like it should be in a car engine to me.

I brought the lights home and the handyman/electrician asked,”Do you want the shades hanging down or pointing up?” This is just a bathroom, right? I mean, really, how many decisions can go into one measly bathroom? Besides all that, I never heard of shades pointing up. When did that happen? I suppose when ceramic tile started looking like wood.

I simply could not choose up or down. I had Mr. Handyman hold the lights in each position numerous times and neither one seemed better or worse than the other.

Oh, dear me! I wouldn’t get the lights installed. The bathroom wouldn’t be finished. The house wouldn’t show well. No one would make an offer on our home. We would never move. All would be lost! Now it’s a big thing!

A phone call to my daughter saved the day. She told me absolutely shades pointing up. Really? Absolutely! The lights were installed with shades pointed up. And you know what?! I agree! Shades up – every time.

The bathroom now is so grand and wonderful. The light is soft and warm and I can’t see the bulbs (nice!). The color is crisp and clean. The floor is spectacular. I feel totally different in this bathroom than I ever did in the other one. The things on the outside really do affect the inside. I must have forgotten that, because my home has been the same for so long. That can be comforting but also a bit numbing, as I have realized.

I have discovered through all this that updating one bathroom (a small thing) can show me the positive side of change (a big thing) and the joy of surrounding myself with beauty and usefulness (a very, very big thing). There are lessons to be learned everywhere!

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