Turning into My Parents: Lights

Welcome to “Turning into My Parents”. A series on how I’m slowly becoming more like the people who raised me.

You really can’t comprehend as a child that the thing powering the television and lights in the house isn’t free.

My grandfather always asked us as kids if we had turned the lights off in his basement when we were done playing. Chances are, at 95, he’s still asking his great-grandchildren the same question.

My parents have ceiling lights installed in both their basement and living room, but always favor lamps and the glow of the TV at night.

I’ve come to understand why we would get the stink eye as kids. They have to pay for that.

I have lived in a small, two bedroom house and two, one-room apartments and no bill is similar to the other.

I used to split the bill at the house I lived in for over a year. My electric bill in Oklahoma was like a roller coaster. It was not a well-insulated place and the wind blows like crazy in the winter. I kept my apartment at 67-68 degrees and I still paid over $100 in January. I have only lived in my new apartment in Cincinnati for four months and with it being winter and the heat is controlled by the landlord, my bill has been no more than $25 a month. This could drastically change once summer roles around (my place has an A/C).

Now that I have been paying my own electric bill for several years now, I do what I can to keep my bill as low as possible before going full Amish.

During the day, the sun lights my apartment. At night, it’s mainly a lamp in the living room. Sometimes I leave a hallway or kitchen light on and I’ll get off the couch and turn them off, remembering my parents and grandfather asking if the lights were off in the other room.

And yes. I changed out most of the light bulbs in my former and current apartment with LED bulbs. If it saves the environment and me money on my bills, I’ll get up on a chair and switch them out.

Mom, Dad, Papa: I get it now. Sorry for keeping the lights and TV on in the other room while nobody was in there.

Add it to my tab.

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