Sunday, October 30, 2011


One of the last duties of the day for Fr. P and I is to air out the dog and take a turn around the campus to make sure all is settled and that all the unnecessary lights are off.  It kills me to have lights on when nobody is in the buildings.  I'm afraid that I drive Fr. P crazy with my angst over a rogue burning light bulb.

I think that this tendency was cultivated by my father.  He too would stomp through the house grousing about things such as, "Who left the lights on in the basement?!"  Usually it was Mom.  "Bill!  I'm going right back down!  It's better than turning the lights off and on all of the time."

Like all young people I was afraid of the dark for a spell and could not fall asleep unless there was a light on.  We also did not have air conditioning so we used fans.  But it drove my father to distraction to have them on all night long when were supposed to be unconscious sleeping so he, unable to sleep while the electric bill went up, would stay up and then sneak into our rooms and turn the lights and fan off.

Of course this only served to wake me up and I spent the night afraid and hot.

The years went by and I started donating to my parish.  I was proud that with my first job I was able to give $5 a week or so.  Especially when I looked at the totals from the last week and thought, "Wow, we collected $1,125 this week.  If it had not been for my contribution it would have only been $1,120."
So when I see a light on that somebody forgot to turn off I have extreme guilt feelings about someone who sacrifices to put a little money in the Sunday basket.  I think loathingly (is that a word?) about that sacrificed few dollars burning away for no reason and that the money could not go for something more constructive such as teacher's salaries or a repair around the grounds or anything that adds to the life of the parish.
So, yes, I think I drive people nuts occasionally.  "Do you really need ALL these lights on?"  But nothing is as disturbing to me as opening a door in the morning and finding all my work was for not; that a light had been on all night.  I suffer.


Father Cory Sticha said...

Story I recently heard:

A Monsignor was asked by his bishop if the young Associate Pastor assigned to Msgr. was ready to be promoted to Pastor in another parish. The Msgr. responded, "Bishop, he hasn't learned to turn out the lights."

With that, I think I need to check the church to see if they turned out the lights after coffee and rolls.

Anonymous said...

my name is Inigo Montoya.
You left a light on in the church.
Prepare to die.

Oh come on. You were all thinking it.
- Fr. Pfr

Anonymous said...

HA--my dad was the same! Now I can hardly turn a light ON without hearing him (these 25 years after his passing) to "TURN OFF THE LIGHT WHEN YOU ARE DONE--we don't own the electric company you know!"

thanks for the memory

Anonymous said...

You keep using that word.
I do not think it means what you think it means...
I. Montoya

Anonymous said...

:D We have the real situation of when the lights go out, our youngest eyes open too. Except he doesn't stay in bed and deal with being afraid. He lets the whole house know. And he tries to alarm the neighborhood too. Thankfully, the walls seems to protect them to a degree. Although I am sure they do wonder if we are trying to kill him at times. My husband didn't understand the reality of this till we had power failure since he is gone a lot. The power went out and I automatically got up. He questioned me, and I said, just wait. Within seconds, I had to go and find our lil screamer. I am thankful for LEDs because of less electricity but also long for the day when this stage if OVER. Too bad we no longer have Town Criers as a profession...;)