Diary: Ceil Heller’s first day at the Ludington lighthouse

Slept like a log. The alarm went off at 6 a.m., wrote my diary and put on my grubby cloths, snake boots, (knee high rubber boots, I got new ones from Fritz and Kari for Christmas) and went for a very windy walk on the beach. Elaine had already left for her walk by the time I got out the door.  I walked a mile south into the wind so coming home was not too bad. It was a bit chilly but the sun was coming up very brightly.

Not much activity on the beach this morning. The beach is rapidly being eaten up by the increase in lake levels. What used to be a fair amount of beach is now encroaching on the dunes that had built up over the last 8-10 years. It is amazing how much of the sand has washed away and exposed the old wave barriers that were placed years ago just to the north of the lighthouse. This has all happened in the past year. We are loosing 4 feet of beach each year due to high water levels. Our next big project will be to reinforce the sea wall. We had a feasibility study done last year by some engineers in Grand Rapids. They are quoting us a $1,200,000.00 price tag to fix it. I personally do not think that will ever happen, but we will do something.  On my return to the lighthouse I managed to pick up a fair amount of trash. I had two mylar balloons, I had so much trash I poked a hole in one of the balloons and used that as my bag for trash. I did find a baseball that had all the stitching go but the leather ball cover was still attached to the ball of string they put in the middle of the balls.

What a great day I had. We had school kids this morning. All very well behaved. The keepers I am with are extremely nice and lots of fun to work with.  Jack climbed the tower with each group that went to the top. The kids would learn a lesson in taxes when they made their purchases in the gift shop.  The rest of the afternoon we greeted several visitors to the lighthouse. This is the part I love about being here when we are not as busy. You meet the most interesting people. We had one couple from Missouri; they were traveling up the west coast line on a mission to see as many lighthouses as they could.

Jim and Sharon had the afternoon off. I get my afternoon off tomorrow.  I think a hike in the state park might be in order.  I believe Bruce took a nap at the top of the tower. He was up there long after the visitors returned from the top of the tower. It is a great place to sit, read and nap.

We are closing the lighthouse up an hour earlier this year, and since we don’t have to close the gift shop up, we have more time to play. I went for a short walk came in and ate a great German dinner of sausage, red cabbage, German potato salad, applesauce and strudel for desert.  Good thing I am climbing the tower, and going for walks. Then Sharon, Jim and I went for a long walk on the beach. Then Jack and I went back out to get sunset pictures.

I am enjoying the keepers I am with; I think we are all a good fix. It has been a busy but great day.

The piping plovers are back. More than ever, they will be closing down 2 areas this year once they find the nest. One in the dunes and another on the north beach. Wonder if the State will pay to have someone sit and guard the nests this year.

As Always, Ceil

P.S.  I will start a history lesson tomorrow.

Follow Ceil’s Stay in the Lighthouse

Introduction

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Days 5 – 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

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