Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Last week our family took a trip to Avon on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Husband has goals to achieve on every vacation we have experienced.  He is the one pressing on to climb higher, travel farther, ask more dumb questions and exhaust yourself taking in something of scant interest to you for the sake of logging one more item in the book of "Things We Did As A Family."  While that is commendable, it is small reparation for his personal deficiency as a workaholic, "play-with-your-friends-aholic," runaway parent when the children were still children.  And with that I have coughed up an ancient hairball.

On the day he was most driven, we headed for an educational trek to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with Middle Sis, her hubby Mike, Baby Sis and her friend Dino.

As you can see, it was a lighthouse.  This lighthouse had a winding metal staircase involving 268 steps.  On a hot day.  And we had the joy of knowing the whole thing had been moved a considerable distance from where it was built in the 1800's, a thing which added to the thrill of wondering about structural integrity.  More spice for the old ticker as we climb to the pinnacle.

(The bald spot above is where the lighthouse used to be!)
We all began the ascent and rested at each level with a window.  As we neared the top, Middle Sis and Baby Sis refused to go all the way.  Siezed by terror, they begged me to get Husband, who was on top quizzing the Park Ranger for factual details, to come down.  I did try, but he was too wrapped up in it all.  So I went down alone leaving the sisters to experience their fears without me.  I thought about all the nights of fear they caused me as teenagers and continued down musing about things that go around and come around.
Being a fast walker as well as a cheapskate, I headed for the free museum on the grounds.  It was a wide ranging nautical exhibit.  Old ship items, WWII U-Boat pictures, portraits of lighthouse keepers and such. 

Meanwhile, the family panic changed focus from Husband to me, whom everyone feared had come to an untimely end.  Just because I came down fast doesn't mean I fell over the side.

Husband ran out of questions for the ranger and descended with his fearful daughters and they all group hugged and went looking for me.  They found me and we recounted our adventures in the heat, the height,  the paranoia, and the mystery of how two old folks could fearlessly walk up a lighthouse and not be overcome by inertia, senility, or giddyness.

Son-in-law Mike found a local one-armed restaurant critic, who gave five stars to a biker bar called "Pop's" and we ate, we drank, and we all lived happily ever after. At least for that day .


  1. I dragged my husband to the top of the lighthouse in Corolla NC. He clung to the bricks and tried not to hyperventilate as he wiped his clammy hands on his shirt, owing to his phobia of heights. I'm sure he would get along well with the reluctant Cheaspeake Bay Sisters!

  2. Speaking as someone who has spent more time looking for you than shopping in Walmart, I recommend we purchase a tracking device whenever there is any group outing.

    I'm sorry I missed this wonderful family memory, but I do enjoy hearing the story from all the various angles.

    And Pops was indeed outstanding...CBSon, Daughter and I hit it after our failed attempt at the lighthouse. The wasabi cucumber dipping sauce could not be beat.

  3. I love lighthouses. That is, I love looking at them. From the outside. Ain't nothin' gonna get me up those stairs, even the thought of retribution for ancient worrying.
    I wonder why they moved it. Did your husband ask the ranger?
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. I went to the top of the St Augustine Lighthouse. The view was great even if I was pressed firmly against the outer wall of the lighthouse...

  5. You just do whatever you want to do. The heck with the rest of 'em.