The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Lightbulb in the Lighthouse

Before taking the lighthouse tour, visitors loiter at the Interpretive Center. A family with four children waits for the 1 pm tour. In the meantime, they explore the exhibits and watch a video highlighting the history of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. The title sounds like an oversell, but it’s a lovely location.

Promptly at 1, the family gathers for the tour, stands in the wind and gazes up. A tour guide in a dress and an apron steps outside to greet the afternoon group—the family with four children, a man cycling from Montana to Mexico, various couples from the Midwest, yours truly, my aunt, my sister, and my niece.

Perhaps because I am myself the fourth child, I’m smiling over the youngest from the family. She has red hair and a cascade of freckles. She listens attentively as the tour guide asks questions of the group. It’s an audience participation technique, but her siblings are quick to answer. She listens and nods at the replies that her outgoing siblings supply.

Later, the guide says there will be rules for climbing the lighthouse tower.
“No shouting,” the redhead suggests.
The guide nods, “That’s a good rule.”
The little girl beams, “You’re welcome!”

The guide asks the group, “What kind of oil do you think was used to keep the lighthouse bright?”
The redhead smiles helpfully, “You know, you should really watch the video at the visitor’s center.”

As the guide tries to explain that she has seen it before, and that she actually does know something about the lighthouse, the assembled adults burst out in laughter, and truly begin to enjoy the tour.

Yaquina Head

3 comments on “Lightbulb in the Lighthouse

  1. Chas Spain
    July 3, 2015

    Lovely story!

  2. Maccabros
    July 4, 2015

    Reminds me at the Lighthouse family and Lifted…

    must be a fine view from there

    liebe Grüße


  3. davecenker
    July 6, 2015

    We all want to be the beacon in the lighthouse, don’t we? 🙂 We all want to be needed and appreciated. I always learn my most important lessons from the innocence of youth.

    I am absolutely enamored with lighthouses. It transports me back to a time in history when everything was different – more difficult, but also simpler – if that makes any sense. Love the story and the image, thanks for sharing Paige 🙂

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This entry was posted on July 3, 2015 by in Happiness, Travel, Writing and tagged , , .

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