Monday, January 7, 2008


It's shortly after dinner, we are beginning to settle down for the evening. The girls are about to get into their pajamas. I wishfully look forward to some alone time, after the whole bedtime ritual as I head up the stairs. But as I am turning down the upstairs hallway, I give a quick glance back downstairs.

A surge comes through me. My voice disturbs the calm that was just upon us moments ago.

I loudly call out, "NIAGRA MOHAWK!"

I notice all of the lights that have been carelessly left on, after our departure from that space. Dining room light, Kitchen- main light, pendant light above the sink, stove light, living room floor lamp, wall sconce (with compact fluorescent- wipe my brow), hall light downstairs, bathroom light downstairs. All these lights were on two other floors of the house. What a waste.

My husband leaves lights on in our house like a trail of bread crumbs leading a path through the woods. I can tell you exactly where he has been and what types of activities he's been up to. Guest bedroom light on, hubby was doing some laundry! I will pat myself on the back for installing the compact fluorescent in the garage as well, after coming home numerous times to it being left on for no apparent reason. Well, the reason is, he went in there for something turned the light on and then left. No flip of the switch OFF, just on.

I think I get so irate about it because I have just a little-itty bit of my father's temper in me. Growing up, I can not tell you how many times I would hear his voice rattle our house, "Niagara Mohawk!" Then a loud flick of the switch. For those of you wondering what in the world I am talking about, Niagara Mohawk was the power company in New York for years and years. It's name has changed now, but Niagara Mohawk is still the official mantra for YOU ARE WASTING ENERGY in our family. I like it, it makes me long for home.

Yep, I am OCD about the lights being on when it's not necessary. We have a manageable energy bill and maybe that OCD is to thank.

If you are feeling like your family is wasting too much energy, give NIAGARA MOHAWK a shout out, it may just make you smile.


  1. I like it. Niagara Mohawk. Although, I think I might be the chief "Light Leaver On-er" in our house, so I'll just be yelling at myself a lot.
    Oh, and I'd be so excited that my husband had actually done laundry that I would cheer, even if he had left the light on! :0)

  2. That's hilarious. My husband also leaves lights on without a second thought! Love your OCD, save energy mantra! Too funny!

  3. I love it. Lights left on in empty rooms irritate my OCD tendencies, too. XCEL ENERGY!


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