A New Year and A New You…Ok, Maybe That is a Bit Much…

This week the spouselet and I are in Florida.  The first real full vacation either of us have taken, with out working at all in probably 5 years.  So, we have been site seeing.  Yesterday we went to Lion Country Safari, my all time favorite “Zoo” and fed birds and giraffes.  So fun.

Heading to Jupiter to the Lighthouse has been on the agenda for a long time and earlier in the week the weather sucked so we couldn’t go.  We also learned this morning that if it is raining, they won’t let you in because the 105 steps get a little slippery when wet.  Good to know.

We bought our tickets and met a few people from different parts of the country who all had these nifty “Official Lighthouse Passports”.  I commented to the spouselet that I wanted one.  He said, “Maybe we should wait until after the tour to decide if we want to join the Lighthouse Society.”

Well ok, but why…its a nifty little book that is 10 bucks and we get stamps in  it when ever we go to a lighthouse, it could be a new fun thing to do together.  I think he rolled his eyes as he started looking over the souvenir t-shirts.  (Like we need another one of those).

After a few minutes the guide gathered us around and started telling us about the history of the lighthouse as we entered the locked gate.  As a functioning lighthouse that is part of a US Military Instillation, we were not allowed to run willy nilly around the grounds.

Image-1We also got to learn about the Native Americans who used to live in the area and about some of the vegetation.  I forget how much  I love history.  As we neared the lighthouse she started talking about its construction and the technology behind the lens used to focus the light.  When this particular lighthouse was built the US Government paid $12,000 for a Fresnel Lens.

I was so excited.  I had read a book called Ahab’s Wife, by Sena Jeter Nasland who was a former Poet Laurette for the state of Kentucky…and they talked about this lens.

I could not wait to see it.  I mean I had read about it in a big ole 700 -page novel y’all!

So, we head up.  Before we enter the lighthouse, Sara, our guide says “Know your body.  If you start feeling funny or are not able to breathe, if you have ANY issue at all, there are landings every 25 steps with windows.  Just step to the side on the landing and let others pass.  Do not feel bad about coming down. We do not want anyone to get hurt on this tour.”  She also mentioned that the steps leading up to the lighthouse, 37 did not count as a part of the 105 steps IN the lighthouse, so, she joked, it was a good warm up to see if your body could handle it.

Also, good to know.

I breezed up those 37 steps in record time, I wanted to take some pictures of that Fresnel Lens and of the ocean and the inlet and every other part of the scenery.

360 degrees baby.

But, I forgot one small detail….

I am scared of heights.  Some how, I thought since I can walk over the Ohio River on the walking bridge, I was over it.  All good.

Nope.  That just means I am not terrified of bridges anymore.

Image-1(1)That image above is taken from the first landing.
I made it to the 25th step-golden, until I looked down.

OH HOLY HELL. Mother of Sweet Jesus Help Me!
I started hyperventilating.
I started crying.
I stepped into that landing with the window and sucked in fresh air like we were running out.
My fingernails dug into the wood window frame and I tried to not pass out.

A sweet man and his wife offered to walk back down with me, but I told them to go on up.  I was so embarrassed that I could not imagine keeping them from the tour because I am a HUGE dumb ass.  After I send them and the spouselet on up the open wrought iron slippery steps, I wiped my face and carefully pulled my cell phone out of my purse and snapped the above picture.

It isn’t from the top, but it is from as high as my chicken shit butt got.  I hung out there for a bit admiring the beauty (and actively avoiding going back DOWN the 25 steps).

I remembered when I was a kid, I would go up a steep slide and my popaw would have to climb up and rescue me.  As I stood in that window landing, I realized that my popaw can’t carry me down today.

So, I hiked up my big girl panties
took a deep breath
started crying like a baby again
and firmly grabbed the hand rail with both hands and stepped out on the grating.

I had to look down to be sure my feet were going to hit the steps and not slip off.  At one point I almost sat down and scooted down like kids do before the learn to walk steps.

I got to the bottom and the guide was so sweet to me that I felt even worse.  In a normal situation, I would have run to my car, gone home and crawled into bed.  But we were on a military instillation and we were locked in.

so, Instead, I got to sit on a bench while the 28 other people on the tour came back down.

But the sliver lining….Image-1(2)These steps were my bitch.

Today, the spouselet and I agreed, he won’t make me visit any more lighthouses and I won’t make him go scuba diving.

Deal!
Oh and we didn’t become members of the Lighthouse Society either.

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6 thoughts on “A New Year and A New You…Ok, Maybe That is a Bit Much…

  1. ” At one point I almost sat down and scooted down like kids do before the learn to walk steps”

    I actually DID have to do that an open air observation tower at Signal Knob. Had no problem going up. Enjoyed the view. Went into total shut down when it was time to go down, and I could see through the stairs. I was under the impression that I was mostly over my fear of heights, as well. I totally feel you!

  2. Maybe it will help you to know that I have done this over and over at Lighthouses? Oh sure, sometimes I sit out, remembering I never make it to the top. Other times I think I’m over the fear of heights. Ha. Ha Ha. Ha ha ha ha. No.

    I did manage to go up to the top of a pilgrim’s monument in Provincetown, because it had solid cement walls and steps, wide landings and tiny windows. The top had plexiglass and bars all around so there was no chance of falling. I kept my backside against the inner cement walls, heart pounding, all the way around, Finally I stepped over to the small openings, barred up better than a prison and took some photos. I was very proud of me. So, if you ever go to Provincetown, try that, because it may be doable.

    • And here is where my fear gets just stupid. If there is a railing or a solid wall i am fine. It is always open steps- even in a totally enclosed building- if the steps have open risers— i hig the wall… Like my ample ass could slip right through the crack. I think i could totally do the provincetown lighthouse! Thanks for thr tip!

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