One Lamp

Below is a lovely Guest Post, from Cookie Murphy-Petee, who lives in Eagle, Colorado.
The Guest Post Slot welcomes submissions from readers.

Watching an episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” with Itzak Perlman playing the ballad “Someone to Watch Over Me,” I looked over at the lamp on the end table next to me. I ran my finger over the smooth, round, cream-colored ceramic base, and recalled the couple-making moments when Scott and I had bought this lamp in Ashland, Oregon. Touching the lamp, I could almost feel myself touching Scott again.

This was one of our first travel outings together. No dogs, no kids, no roommates, about a year after we had met and about six months after we decided to live together. Splurging, we were staying at a B-and-B for two nights – its name some foreign language version of Rooster — and seeing two (or was it three?) plays at the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was around 1984.

While we had little money to spend, we chose one afternoon to amble around the town; in and out of shops, stopping for a take-out snack that we ate in the town park that sits just below the back side of the outdoor Elizabethan theater. We were still establishing ourselves, with my then 13 –year-old daughter, into some form of “home.” Wandering into a pottery store, Scott and I gravitated towards the lamps, hoping that we might be able to afford one, both for our “home” and as a memento of this trip.

Most were beyond our budget, and we were still learning each other’s tastes. Then we spotted this round, not-too-large, cream-color-based lamp with a mid-section pattern of light olive and purple leaves and stems. Gingerly we picked up the price tag. It was less than $20! Sold.
And now, with tomorrow 21 years since Scott died, touching the lamp has awakened one of the best parts of our lives together – the joy and electricity of a gentle touch.

Cookie Murphy-Petee



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