We were on our feet and frantic. It doesn't take much to set off our PTSD, and loud, unexpected noises are triggers for both of us. Our heads were swiveling around, trying to locate the source in a house whose curves and angles and open floor plan distorts locations and flummoxes even the most efficient seeker of sound.
There was nothing on any of the kitchen counters; we'd cleared them and emptied the dishwasher and nothing was out of place. Nothing could have fallen. The cabinets were shut; nothing fell out of them. Looking inside and on top failed us. Then, we looked down.
The floor was scattered with shards of glass. They were everywhere, but where did they originate? The Thanksgiving decorations were neatly stacked in the niche; none had taken flight. The kitchen table was bare and so was the island. Then we looked up, because we realized, at the same time, that there was a dark spot in the breakfast nook.
A light bulb had exploded.
For no reason that we could discern, our Sylvania Long Nec 75W/130V/WFL item J788 had flipped its lid. The entire glass shielding the bulb was strewn on our floors while the rest of the mechanism remained firmly ensconced in the can in the ceiling.
We dragged in the tallest ladder and TBG took his achy breaky knee up to the offending recessed can
His hand, swathed in a thick leather glove, untwisted the remainder of the flood light and handed it down to the plastic bag I was holding up high.
That lasted a few seconds; it was so hot that the bag began to melt to its surface. After quickly dumping the bulb carefully into the sink, we stood back and stared. The glass was missing and the curved base surrounding the tiny bulb was cracked on the back.
How this happened remains a mystery. We never noticed it until it exploded all over my tiles.
As we swept and wet-Swiffered and vacuumed and wiped with paper towels and then did it all again, we found ourselves repeating an awful refrain:
What if we'd been having dinner? (as I wiped glass from the tabletop)
What if FlapJilly had been strapped into her chair? (as I brushed tiny glass pieces off a seat)
Having avoided death once in my life, I know that this is probably not the worst thing that could have happened. But it's pretty close, especially for those who can't escape quickly, for those who are, unwittingly, below the disaster, for those whose PTSD was released by an unexpected and very loud report.
I'm sending this post to Sylvania; I'll keep you posted if I get a response. We did replace the bulb, and it seems to be settling in very well. But who knows when another light might decide to create some excitement on its own? I can't sit under an umbrella in my own house. I just have to put this in the Shit Happens file and try not to worry whenever I sit below my ceilings.