September is one of my favorite months of the year. The weather is usually sunny and warm, but not too warm in this part of the country. It provides one last chance to do all of those things we dreamed of earlier in the year, when we were waiting for winter to finally release its grip and another summer stretched before us.
But as happens every year, summer is over far too quickly. Soon the leaves will start to turn colors. The red and yellow and rusty orange splashes of color will be beautiful as I drive, but they also remind me summer is officially over. Now is the time to harvest the garden and winterize the house and do any other chores that need doing before the cold winter winds blow again.
Fall is also a good time to curl up on the sofa with a good book after the sun goes down. While I always enjoy the thrill of finding a new release by one of my favorite authors, I also have plenty of their earlier books on my “keeper” shelf. (Make that keeper shelves, actually.) My accommodating husband built a set of shelves for me which now hold hundreds of romance novels I have accumulated over the years. I have given away thousands more, but these are the ones I really don’t want to part with. It is a mix of historical and contemporary, with a few other genres thrown in for good measure.
While I appreciate my Kindle, especially when traveling, I still enjoy the act of holding a book in my hands and turning the pages. When I reread one of the books from the shelves, it is like visiting with an old friend. Even looking at the books on the shelves and running my fingers along the spines as I debate which one to select can be almost as calming as a mug of hot chocolate.
So while I am sad to see summer leave, the upside is that I will be spending more quality time with old friends between the pages of my books. Bring on the falling leaves and the blowing snow – my friends are waiting for me.
I decided this morning it was time to do another blog in the series I call “If These Walls Could Talk.” And since this is Labor Day weekend, it made me think of the end of summer, which made me think of beaches, which made me think of lighthouses. So here you go:
Looking at this lighthouse raises all sorts of questions in my mind. Where did the lighthouse keeper live? In the lower portion of the lighthouse? If so, I can only assume he did not have a family, because there is certainly not much room in there. I can imagine what it must have been like to live here in winter, most likely all alone, with the cold winds howling outside, and the never-ending waves pounding against the walls. It must have been hard to prevent a slow slide into insanity.
And since I would assume the keeper needed to be able to come and go, for supplies if not to maintain his sanity, then how did he accomplish that? I can just make out a tiny set of steps where the base sticks out in front. Did he keep a boat tied up at the bottom of the steps? Did he walk across to the miniscule beach at low tide? Where did he go once he was in his boat or on the beach? This picture gives the impression there is nothing and no one for miles around.
Surely cleaning and maintaining the lamps only took a portion of his day, so what did he do with the rest of his time? Did he fish for his supper? Did he have a garden at the top of the cliff? Perhaps there is a path we cannot see in this picture. And perhaps that is where his house was as well. But that meant he needed a way to get to the lighthouse each night, which takes me right back to my earlier questions.
While this is a beautiful picture, it raises a ton of questions in my mind, and really makes me wish these walls could talk and answer all of my questions. What questions would you like these walls to answer?
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.