Monday, February 4, 2013

Collecting Lighthouses

"This makes Number Six Hundred and Seventy-Two," the woman proudly announced.  Lighthouses, that is.  Like so many Australian couples we have met during our travels, this older couple was on a Round-the-World Odyssey.  They were collecting lighthouses along the way and making a documentary.   The above screwpile lighthouse at Plymouth, North Carolina, is known as a "pre-fab."  In the mid-1800's these houses were built off-site and then barged down the rivers.
  For the next several days, every time we encountered another lighthouse, we thought of this couple.  "How nice to be so focused," I said.  "To pick one area and become an expert on it.  They're like amateur professors."

"So what would you collect?" my travel buddy asked.

"Waterfalls, maybe?  Art museums.  Breathtaking landscapes.  Countries, for sure.  Clothes.  Roman ruins?  Or maybe wildlife.  Yeah, wildlife.  Like wild horses, prairie dogs and elephants."

He laughed.  "That's being focused?"
After seeing the lovely Bodie Island Lighthouse, we thought of continuing south along the Outer Banks to see more, but time was running short so we turned around.  I'm glad we did.  Otherwise, I would have missed the turtles sunning on fallen logs in the Alligator Swamp.  The tall ruins of tobacco houses on manicured front lawns.  The Bubba Loves Jesus sign.  Flocks of geese.

Staying focused is apparently something I'm unable to do.  So what do I collect?  Memories.  A crazy quilt of memories all sewn together to keep me warm and cozy during those golden years ahead.

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