In July, 2013, my husband and I had the privilege of being honorary lighthouse caretakers at Little River Light on an island off the coast of Cutler, Maine.
A dream come true, I’ll never forget the experience we had for ten days on the island.
We were hosts for overnight guests who stayed a night or two in one of the three upstairs bedrooms of the keepers house. We transported them from the mainland to the island, as well as, kept the property cleaned and the yard mowed. Not exactly a bed and breakfast because the guests brought their own food and bedding, we cooked our meals separately, but often shared our mealtimes or morning coffee with our guests.
What a delight it was to meet so many different people from various places in the country and the world!. The flag you see there on the lighthouse was unfurled for special occasions – the fourth of July and the inter-congregational church service that was held one Sunday one the island during the summer. I’m so glad we were there at that time. Kathleen Finnegan, managing editor of Lighthouse Digest, asked me if I wanted to help unfurl and attach the flag on the lighthouse, and of course, I jumped at the opportunity.
All morning that Sunday, lobster boats ferried people across the harbor to the island. The people arrived with folding chairs and umbrellas, while the minister and musician set up under a large open tent. The temperature was unusually warm that day – close to 80 degrees – which was too hot for these Mainers. Funny that the next week, the temperature changed once again and we needed to use space heaters to warm the keeper’s house. That’s the way things are on an island in the Bay of Fundy. Tides rise and fall, days go from hot to cold and from clear to foggy. In fact, it seemed like we experienced three of four seasons while we were there during July!
This picture of the flag-draped lighthouse represents America to me on so many levels. The lighthouse is part of our history, a beacon that guided mariners and fishermen into safe harbor. The people of Cutler are small-town folk, the type who watch out for their neighbors and keep an eye on things, Americana in its truest form. They knew when strangers (us) were on the island and kept track of our comings and goings. I have no doubt that if we’d needed help, help would’ve appeared instantly. Although we had no phone service to the mainland, we were able to listen to the marine radio which the lobster boats used to communicate to each other. We heard the latest news about the local little league, whose lobster traps were tangled and what their families were going to do that weekend. I also heard them joke about my husband trying to catch fish near the island, which he did, in fact.
I’m so thankful we had the opportunity to enjoy this slice of America, an experience not available these days. And how appropriate to represent our nation by displaying our flag during an interdenominational church service. God and country. That’s what we celebrate. God Bless the USA.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” Psalm 33:12a