In the “middle room” the darkness took over the ceiling above the single-bulb-on-a-dangly-cord, and the loss of that six feet of upper wall made it as if the house squatted shorter every night, hunkering down to rest til dawn.
This relic weighs about two pounds, is painted in shiny enamel, and could use a good going-over with a toothbrush. But I refrain, for the accumulated grime of the years is part of its charm (besides, I watch Antiques Roadshow). Its sockets are lined with what looks like cardboard---unless it’s some form of asbestos (and the long-lost withered cord was also wrapped in layers of paperish stuff), it seems as if it would have been a terrible fire hazard. Nevertheless, it hung there over decades, shining down on company and gatherings and quiet nights of the days before TV, lighting many a pea-shelling and quilt-piecing, the games of monopoly and checkers, a hushed sitting-up-with-the-dead or two, and the hum of the faithful old Singer treadle going deep into the night.