Changing Lightbulbs

IMG_0509My nephew Thomas is finishing law school at Regent University here in Virginia Beach. He comes over every week or so for a home-cooked meal and conversation.  A kind and thoughtful young man, he likes to help people when he sees they have a need.

This week he told us about an elderly neighbor whose garbage disposal had stopped working. Since she seldom used it, she decided to have it removed.  The price the plumber quoted was very high, and she lamented the cost. Thomas jumped into action and pulled out the old disposal and replaced it with new piping. All he wanted was the cost of the supplies, but the woman gave him a little extra.

This woman also had a lightbulb that had burned out. I don’t remember what room the bulb was in, but it had been out for some time, and she had been walking around in the dark. That made me think about how I would cope with that situation if my husband weren’t here to rescue me.

I would never be able to change the lightbulb at the top of the stairs. It would require hauling a ladder from the garage and up the stairs. I couldn’t manage that. Nor would I be able to climb that ladder and figure out how to get the cover off the light. I made George promise me he’d never leave me because I need him to change lightbulbs.

Seriously, though, how do elderly people cope with burned out lightbulbs high up in ceilings? We need more kind and thoughtful people like Thomas. Maybe you could be a Thomas for your elderly neighbor.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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18 Responses to Changing Lightbulbs

  1. pattisj says:

    Thomas sounds like a peach of a fellow! I have granddaughters…

  2. Leigh Lim says:

    Thomas’ neighbors are blessed! 🙂 (Looking forward to hear more of his adventures once he starts practicing law!)

    Pretty sure there are some contraptions that are similar to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1xIZBhtpwU

    • Coming East says:

      I hope and pray he gets a job right out of law school. They are hard to come by, but Thomas is a charmer and very smart. I checked out the video, but the problem in homes is that the ceiling lights are covered by a globe that has to be removed before you can even get to the lightbulb.

  3. raeverha says:

    Is this a request from two doors down? 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Haha! We may be wrinkly, but we still don’t feel elderly. Check on our lightbulb status in a few years. Unless you meant you want us to come over and change a lightbulb for you?

  4. Amy says:

    Has he finished law school already? I remember reading the post you did when he was about to attend the school. It’s scary to think about changing light bulbs in the future…

  5. Helen C says:

    Maybe someone will invent a senior ladder, that is light weight, has a seat, and when you press a button, it would rise..
    Seriously, your post makes me realize that there is a lot to learn on living with a getting-old body. Thanks. 😉

  6. It isn’t easy as a woman living alone as one gets older. I’ve been 100% single since 1999. My oldest son was 13 and jumped in as the fixer of all things…(cars..windows..small carpentry, the lawn.etc) but when he left for college i lost my handyman. Basically i’ve paid people to do every little thing since!
    I sometimes think i might’ve looked harder for a boyfriend if I didn’t have money. Terrible thing to say, I know! I can’t imagine doing all the “man” chores and heavy lifting!

  7. Kudos to your nephew for being so helpful. That is wonderful (and, unfortunately, quite rare). I have given my husband many, many reasons why he can’t leave me … changing lightbulbs is just one of them (he’s 6′ 6″ so he’s invaluable in the lightbulb department, as well as getting things out of high cupboards and dusting the ceiling fans). However, we’re both finding that, as we age, some of the tasks that we used to simply ‘do’ are more and more difficult to manage (right now, I have Christmas decorations still hanging from the tops of the tall windows in my living and dining rooms; his sciatica is acting up and both my knees are bothering me, so neither one of us wants to drag the ladder out and climb it – I suspect they’ll still be there for Easter!) I wouldn’t be surprised to see services popping up in the next few years specifically for the ‘elder generation’ who need basic tasks done around the house. SIGH!

  8. That’s one fine nephew you have! I think about those ‘older’ folks living alone often and as I look around our place, I know I couldn’t keep this all up without my hubby. There are light bulbs here and a whole lot of other stuff that I just couldn’t take care of!

  9. Missy Craig says:

    Love this post (and what a great nephew you have!). We’re at the time of life where we increasingly see the needs of those aging…and realize it will be us sooner than later! Helping my friend with Encephalitis (that has affected her memory) has made me very aware of how we take our health and “abilities” for granted.

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