The Summer That Wasn't

Let There Be Light

As the days grow shorter, we are beginning to realize that we don’t have enough electric lighting in our new apartment. Particularly challenging is our dining area because there is no ceiling light over our dining room table. And no way to hang one.

We started searching for lamps online, but soon realized we needed to see the actual lamps. That’s why we found ourselves in a highly-recommended lamp store in downtown Concord, MA last Saturday.

Within minutes of our arrival, dreadful childhood memories of lamp shopping with my mother intruded on my morning. I pictured myself in one of Pittsburgh’s big department stores, trailing Mother down the endless aisles of the lamp department. Every second was torture.

But those expeditions always ended with a chicken à la king lunch elegantly served in the department store’s tearoom, me feeling very grown up in my best shopping outfit, complete with the white gloves all well-dressed women (and their daughters) wore “back in the day”.

Our ladies lunch almost made lamp shopping bearable. Not completely bearable then—or now when it doesn’t even include lunch.


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Oh, I used to love those lunches in the big department store's tearoom. We were usually shoe shopping for me - which was about as awful as your lamp shopping (very difficult feet to fit). Thanks for the memory.
Grace & Peace, Iris


How I loved the department store tea rooms after shopping trips to Oklahoma City with my mother. Those were the few times we had a pleasant time together. I have forgotten the name of the store, but I remember The Meadowlark Room in Des Moines, Iowa where I shopped when newly married. Lamps! That's another matter. After fifteen years, I am still on a quest to replace a perfect lamp broken in the move to this house. Quest on.

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