The lights are on once again in the kitchen of Our Humble O’Bode. About two weeks ago, I started a weekend project to install track lighting in the kitchen, a project that never got any farther than taking the old light off the ceiling and pulling the wires out of the junction box. That’s when all the insulation crumbled and all I was left with was bare wires dangling from the ceiling.
I am the rankest of amateurs when it comes to electricity. I’m pretty confident I can swap one light fixture for another, but when it comes to bare wires dangling from the ceiling, I’d be betting my life if I tried to fix that. So I called an electrician, who turned out to be a guy about my age named Tom. Tom made a frowny face when I showed him the dangling wires. I figured that was a frown that was going to cost us three, maybe four hundred dollars.
Tom got his ladder and poked at the dangling wires, pulling one and then another all the way out of the ceiling without checking first to see if they were hot, which I thought was pretty trusting. I mean, I told him the circuit was off, but he didn’t know me from Jeffrey Dahmer. For all he knew, I’ve got a whole basement full of fried electricians stacked like cordwood.
It only took him a half-hour to clear out the old, burnt-out wires and replace them with shiny new wires. “Do you have the light fixture you were going to install?” he asked me. I fetched the track lights from the basement and, after looking them over, he wired them up, hung the track on the ceiling, and installed the lights. And for all that, he charged me only two hundred bucks, way less than I thought he would.
No more gloomy kitchen! In fact, the kitchen is about the ungloomiest room in the house now. There’s enough candlepower blazing from the three new lamp heads to make us want to put on sunglasses. Luckily, there’s a dimmer switch, so we can turn it down a bit until our bat-like eyes get used to the glare.