The night light


AS I’VE BRAGGED at least a million times, I initially moved south with just two suitcases, nothing more. It was liberating and, of course, in total contrast with how most Gringos move to Mexico pulling their sagging trailers behind their mega-pickups.

I delight in making fun of those people.

I came down sans auto.

I did, however, leave a number of things in the storeroom of my mother’s Atlanta condo, and when the two of us drove from here to there around 2004 in the little Chevy Pop I had purchased, I returned with more gear. One of them is pictured above.

This stained-glass lamp was bought on South Shepherd Drive in Houston in the late 1990s. I don’t recall the precise price, but it was scandalously expensive. No matter. It was love at first sight.

It sits in our living room, serving as a night light. It’s the first thing I see each morning as I stumble from the bedroom into the living room in the dark to slip my feet into the Crocs that sit on the carpet below this light.

I then go pour coffee, head upstairs, fire up the Hewlitt-Packard and read the news. It’s a good way to start the day.

23 thoughts on “The night light

  1. Felipe: A variation of the famous Tiffany Firefly, beautiful. I worked in art glass, making lamps etc. for a number of years. In the end, factories in China were pumping out poor quality junk for 5-10% of what I needed to sell them for, and the market dried up.

    I also saw truckloads of stuff toted to Mexico. In two cases, grand pianos, which both fell apart in the heat and humidity. One ended up as table in a bar.

    I brought a small lamp I had made, and still have. My Dodge Caravan was full when we returned to the North country, and decorates our home. I reminisce of where, when and the circumstances of each piece of art. Life is planning the future, enjoying the moment, and using the past to make the future more enjoyable.

    Happy New Year to you, your family, and all of the Loonies who remain Unseen.


    1. Kris: About a decade ago, my wife and I drove to a nearby town where there is a tech school. We took two semesters of a class on making stained glass. My wife was more hyped up about it than I was, as is usually the case, so she wanted to continue doing it. During one of our Texas trips, we detoured by a business out in the sticks — I now forget where — and bought quite a bit of equipment to do it at home. The gear still sits in its boxes up high in a closet here. Maybe she’ll pull it out and do it after I’m pushing up daisies. We have stained-glass panels in the living room, kitchen and dining room windows that we made during those classes. They are very pretty.

      Hope you have a fine 2019 too. Let us keep our fingers crossed.


  2. As I think I’ve written here before, I admire your taste. I wish I had your eye for art.

    Just out of curiosity, what do you call the insect? There are two names, one of which is distinctly “southern.”


      1. That’s the name I hear used most often today.

        When I was a young pup, almost everyone in my little corner of Alabama called it a “snake doctor.” I hardly ever hear it called that any more.


      2. Felipe: Dragonfly is right. Firefly is a totally different bug. When we went to Mexico I sold a pickup load of glass and gear for $200, worth over $5000. It can be a fun hobby or an obsession. Either way, you will shred your fingertips. There will be bleeding, and burns.


  3. Since NAFTA was initiated, the people moving down have had it easy. Prior to that going through Mexican customs with even the smallest item of little value took some “negotiating” to get it past the border.

    In December of 1972, I crossed at Tijuana with my surf board, a Rawlings Brooks Robinson baseball glove, 2 Hank Aaron Louisville sluggers and a pair of cleats. Took a 5usd mordida to get the bats through. He wanted more for the cleats but since they were a size 13 he decided they weren’t for resale. Got on a Tres Estrellas de Oro bound for Mazatlan. I never could have dreamed what the future held and I surely haven’t any regrets.


  4. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine all the time.”

    (from a childhood song I sang in my parochial kindergarten school. )


  5. Nice lamp. I remember having to downsize after my parents passed. From a 6,000-square-foot house down to a 500-square-foot apartment. Needless to say you get rid of all the big stuff and keep some of the small stuff that has sentimental value. No regrets except I would’ve liked to keep my grandmother’s Steinway baby grand piano. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t leave much room for anything else.

    All the best in 2019.


    1. Brent: I found downsizing before moving south to be quite liberating. I overdid it just a bit because now and then I wonder where something is only to remember that I never brought it with me. Oh, well.

      Best wishes and buena suerte to you in the new year too.


  6. Love your lamp! I too did stained glass for awhile. Rebuilt the garage in the first house we had down here into a small studio with a lamp table and all the grinders and tools. I really enjoyed it. Got rid of everything when we moved out here in the country. Small regret. I brought down “stuff” that meant something to me and cannot or couldn’t be replaced. No regrets. May the new year bring more good times and no regrets!


    1. Peggy: Yep, it’s a mighty fine lamp. Should be for what it cost me.

      When I culled before my move south, I followed two rules of thumb: Did an item have sentimental value? Was an item essential and difficult to find in Mexico? I discovered that very few things fell into one of those two categories.

      And may 2019 be good for you too. Let’s hope you sell your house.


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