Conundrum: an intricate and difficult problem. That comes from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary that has been throwing words since 1828. I knew I had a problem, but what I had was more than a problem – it was a conundrum.


Trying not to make any wrong moves or cause any damage, I was being very careful with the task at hand. I started on the floor and then moved to the dining room table. The light was better and I could closer to the source of my difficult situation.


Everything I was trying didn’t seem to work. I pushed and pulled and even got a flashlight out so I could see the leg better. Finally, after several unsuccessful attempts, I went ahead and eased the fishnet stocking down to around the knee. Still no luck, but now another worry crossed my mind – I not only had to be careful with the leg and the shoe, but I now had to take great care not to tear the fishnet stocking.


With the stocking at the knee, and the leg across the dining room table, I was on the verge of giving up. But I didn’t, because as Ralphie said in the movie, A Christmas Story, “Only one thing in the world could’ve dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.”


Now I know Ralphie wasn’t referring to the light being out on the inside of his father’s leg lamp, but I was. I had my first serious bulb outage of the Christmas season. The bulb on the inside of my leg lamp that I must have in the dining room window was out and without it, my leg lamp would not glow and put out the electric love that Ralphie so fondly spoke.


There I was in the dining room trying to decide if I needed an electrician, an orthopedic surgeon or possibly Dr. Ruth to advise on the removal of the fishnet stocking.


Searching the internet, I found the instructions on removing the light, but there was an important caveat. There was one particular model that required doing a little cutting or surgery on the base of the lamp and cutting a plastic cord lock, which allowed the cord to be pulled freely and change the light bulb on the inside of the leg. I determined that I had that one.


Now, I had a screwdriver, pliers, wire cutters and a knife to work on my beautiful Christmas leg lamp. Cutting away the felt on the bottom of the lamp, I was able to cut the cord lock off, pull the inner fixture up through the top of the leg and change the bulb. Sometimes it is worth all of the work and pain it takes – this was one of those times.


I eased the fishnet stocking back up and replaced all of the hardware, the harp and the shade. Other than the hole I had to cut through the bottom of the felt on the base, she was good as new. Frankly, after going through this intimate experience, I think that I have a better relationship with my lamp.


After turning it on, I had to go outside and admire it. Wonderful quotes came to mind… Remember Ralphie’s father noting, “Oh, look at that! Will you look at that? Isn’t it glorious? It’s… it’s… it’s indescribably beautiful! It reminds me of the Fourth of July!”


So while you are getting ready for Christmas and the holiday season, be careful with getting the decorations out of the attic (over the years, I’ve stepped through the ceiling twice), electrical stuff (I’ve been shocked more than twice) and fishnet stockings (I only got it to the knee once, but I can’t wait for that bulb to go out again).


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