Sunday, May 17, 2009

Conquering the Lighthouse

My old friends (and even people who haven't known me all that long) know that when I say I'm afraid of heights, I'm not kidding. Even remotely. Two steps on a conventional ladder or step-ladder is as far as I go. My personal step ladder at home comes with two gigantic platforms...and a safety rail to hold on to. If I can't reach a burned-out lightbulb with that ladder, it'll keep until someone braver than I can do the task.

Which is why, when I recently returned to St. Simons Island in Georgia for a weekend at the Scribbler's Retreat Writer's Conference, I made a point to revisit old haunts...and confront old fears. I remembered visiting the historic lighthouse on the island when the kids were small. My ex-husband took the children up the spiral staircase to the top, while I stayed at the bottom, my stomach in queasy knots as I stole fleeting peeks at them waving cheerfully above me before looking away.

I'm proud to say that this time, I made it! White knuckles all the way, innards lurching dizzily and clutching the handrails like lifelines. But I've got the pictures to prove it!

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