life in a tiny apartment.

March 25, 2019
antique milk glass pendant lamp | reading my tea leaves

Tip #183: Choose only the tiniest lights.*

It’s no secret that March is not my favorite month. I try to stay good spirited. I look for the crocuses and snowdrops. I spot the tulip leaves unfurling from the cold winter ground and point them out to my kids as we walk by.

“Do you know what those are going to become?” I’m breathless, practically shrieking, as I point out the daffodil shoots forcing themselves through the decaying leaves in the park. I am a daffodil shoot, trying to force myself through the decaying leaves in the park.

I revel in the extra hours of sunlight, no matter how hard those first few days of change can be.

Look, guys! We’re eating dinner and it’s still light out! I’m so sick of soup by this point that I hardly know what to do with myself, but I grin and gesture frantically out the window.

antique milk glass pendant lamp | reading my tea leaves

Despite my best efforts, it’s a month that always makes me melancholy. Maybe it’s the month-long sense of dread I self-impose by putting off my taxes. Or the fact that it’s just relentlessly gray and cold and windy. Maybe it’s that my feet have been in socks since October, and there’s been a hat on my head since November, and my shoulders are itching to be free from their coat and I’m just so ready to FEEL A BIT OF WARM SUNSHINE ON MY FACE.

I have an idea to make a cross-stitch of my walking routes in March. A messy map of threads running pell-mell over each other, representing the number of times I’ve crisscrossed the streets trying to stay on the sunny side.

At the risk of worshipping false idols, I’ll say that this little lamp has made an otherwise blah month a whole lot better. Brighter? It’s just a little lamp. A bulb on a wire, more or less, with a diminutive antique milk glass shade. It reminds me of something that my family might have had hanging over their table on Kenmare Street a hundred and change years ago. It doesn’t cast its light very far, but it makes for a cozy spot in a tiny apartment. It’s been a little anchor for us, drawing us over to our makeshift dining table (two, pushed together).

This weekend we sat under the lamp and made paper chains and ripped up past masterpieces for collages. On a rainy morning the lamp shined its light on pancakes drenched in a thick fruit syrup made from frozen strawberries. At night, it offered a bit of company while I sat beneath it triple checking my basic arithmetic and searching for missing receipts.

For the curious:

After lots of searching, I bought my lamp from local favorite shop, Holler and Squall.

The flower frog is from Notary Ceramics.

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  • Reply Rachel March 25, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    In yoga class last week, my mentor talked about the coming of spring as the mixing of Earth signs and Water signs, and how the result is mud. So we enter spring by pushing ourselves through mud. Doesn’t that feel exactly right?

  • Reply Doe March 25, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    ugh. hear ya. these small agonies make summer even sweeter.

  • Reply Janean March 25, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Made another batch of soup today. It’s delicious but damn I’m over it. Keep pointing out those blooms and chasing the sunny side… we’re almost there!

  • Reply Danielle March 26, 2019 at 6:46 am

    My mom was obsessed with pointing out crocuses when I was a child…and now, as an adult, I love noticing them as the first signs of spring, especially when March feels more like a “lion” than a “lamb.” Just spotted some in Riverside Park last weekend!

  • Reply Erin Rose March 26, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Another manic daffodil sighter here, too! *raises hand*

    And since this post is about light, could you tell us where that teensy bedside lamp is from? I love it.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE March 26, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      Aw, it’s a super oldie we found at ABC Carpet and Home years ago! Note sure the make or model!

  • Reply Carina March 27, 2019 at 1:55 am

    And here I am looking forward to soup season after relentless heat in Australia haha. I do understand the constantly frumpy feeling though – I shall make the most of the sun while it lasts.

  • Reply Marcella March 27, 2019 at 11:09 am

    So interesting about seasons, I live in south TX and March is my favorite month! Haha. It’s the perfect weather, the mountain laurels are blooming, it’s beautiful before we enter into our 6 months of summer… lol. Summer gets REAL old here though since it doesn’t cool down until November basically.

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