Manly Hands at Home: A Shining Light


I loved it the first time I saw it.

I mean, anyone can have a house but a house with its own lighthouse? Awesome.

For years, it sat there looking pretty. It was on a timer so it came on at 4:30, year around, and went off at 11. It was reliable.

And it was attractive. It was the centerpiece of many a photo, in many a weather condition.

But it was made of untreated wood and it took a beating from all that weather.

Then this happened. That didn’t help.

Eventually the electrical quit working. Pieces of rotten wood needed to be replaced.

Then this happened.

We were lighthouse-less for a while and I missed it more than I would’ve imagined.

My husband kept saying he would build us a new one.


For all his many skills, Don has never done that much building. I wondered . . .

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have my doubts allayed, to have been wrong to doubt him in the first place.

A new lighthouse, made of pressure-treated wood has risen from the lawn in recent weeks.

There were fits and starts—I wanted it to look like the old lighthouse and the old lighthouse was an octagon shape. Octagons are hard!

But it grew and developed and came together. I helped a little and gave feedback– invaluable, I’m sure.

We went to buy the red paint and, without consulting one another, both picked the same color.

It was completely and totally wrong.

But now it’s right.

The paint is right, the shape is right, the height is right, the light is right.

The lighthouse is perfect.

I love the symbolism of a lighthouse, that it warns and protects but also signals that civilization, and people, and warmth, and safe harbor, and hope are near.

I love that we have our lighthouse back and that it was made here, at home, by loving hands.