The Firehouse Light

The Firehouse Light

I happened to pick up this book at the library the other day, and it caused such excitement in our house that I thought I should share.

firehouse light

The Firehouse Light begins with a story of a fire in a small town, many years ago. The townspeople must get their hand-pulled hose carts, axes, and buckets to fight the fire out of a dark wooden shed. Then a simple four watt light bulb is donated to illuminate the shed so that they can get their equipment easier.

The years pass, and the little town grows. The little four watt light bulb is moved to a real firehouse and then a newer one. The firefighting service develops over time; volunteers are replaced by professional firefighters. The hand-pulled hose carts are replaced by horse drawn carts, and then trucks that become gradually more modern; the little town becomes a big town, and then a city.

It is reminiscent of The Little House, but the constant in the story is that four watt light bulb. It continues to glow, softly, a sentinel watching over the many firefighters through the years. One hundred years after the bulb was first lit, the city throws a birthday party for it. At that point, I finally began to wonder, oh my goodness, is this a true story!? Of course it is, as you’ve guessed by now. At the end, there is a picture of the real light bulb, at home in it’s firehouse in Livermore, CA, and the address for its own website!

I was reading to the two little ones, but Savannah, from the next room, called out to ask, is it still burning? Sam and Liss could barely contain their excitement as I pulled up the site. Indeed it is, in it’s 114th year of illumination, having burned for nearly 1,000,000 hours (the website says it will be 1,000,000 as of June this year). You can go see it now, on it’s own webcam. It appears the bulb has already outlasted several cameras, and has been recognized by Guinness and Ripley’s as the world’s oldest known working light bulb. There are some theories that may help explain how it has lasted so long, but I’ll let you explore that topic on your own.


Spring update

Spring update

Last year, we bought a new boat, and barely used it. The boat was so far away from our home in Pennsylvania, and it was such a busy summer, filled with all the busyness of selling a home and moving. It felt that we hardly got to stretch her legs.

We moved in the fall, and got to experience a taste of what we anticipated life to be this summer. With the boat now a short drive away, we could pack some snacks and blankets and be there quickly for a weekend sail. There are so many great anchorages within a day’s sail. We envisioned a summer of exploring all around our nook of the southern Chesapeake. Even an afternoon’s sail after church on Sunday was suddenly realistic.

We were settled in our new home and we had a boat with more room for everyone, so we got a puppy over the winter. Come spring, the plan was to bring her along and teach her how to be a good cruising pup.


We had, of course, some maintenance planned while she was on the hard for the winter. We knew there were some issues with oil leaking in the bilge, so Alan wanted to address that – go over the motor, and clean up and paint the bilge. As he got into the project though, he discovered some other serious issues that needed to be addressed while the motor was pulled out. There were a couple rotten bulkheads that need to be replaced, and it sounds as though that project is going to be a huge pain in the tuchus.

The upshot is, sadly, Tipsy Lady is out for the season. She is truly the boat we hope to have for many, many years so we want to take good care of her and really properly address the issues we’ve found.

We did get out a couple weekends ago on Green Eyes. She has been for sale, but really was located in a terrible place to try to sell a sailboat. She finally made it back to Deltaville (still her home port since we never did change her lettering after buying her), and hopefully will sell this season now that she’s in a good sailing area. In the meantime, at least we can get out and sail with her.

The five of us – the kids all a bit bigger than the last time we were on her- plus the puppy… suffice it to say, it’s definitely a smaller boat. We only went out overnight, but I don’t think we could survive a 3 week trip on her anymore. At least not after the taste of the comparative luxury of Tipsy Lady.

Ah, but it was a beautiful little sail. We weren’t sure if we were going to go out at all. Savannah had a 3:00 softball game, so we figured by the time they finished and we got packed, it would just be too late. But there was a nice breeze and it just felt right, so we rushed home, threw some bottled water and granola bars in a bag, picked up a takeout pizza, and headed for the marina. We were out by 7:30, sailing toward the sunset at a brisk 5-6 knots.


There was some real sadness as we had to let go of the summer we envisioned, but things never are quite as you envision them. Now we look forward to some sails on Green Eyes until we find a buyer for her, some sails on our little G-cat, and really making the most of all that this area has to offer.


Changes to the Blog

I have this blog that I generally neglect. I’m not even sure why I started it. It’s always a nerve-racking experience for me, to send my thoughts and carefully chosen words out into the internet, of all places. What an unkind place for them to be. I wonder each time I post, why bother? Even if I’m not attracting the attention of trolls, who cares what I say here besides my mother, anyway? And yet, through my infrequent postings, a handful of people – other than my mother – have encouraged me in this endeavor, asking me to post more often, and reassuring me that what I’ve done here is in fact worth doing.

Much of that encouragement has come from Alan. He was truly the source of motivation and guidance that inspired the newly designed blog. In fact, he is now my partner here. The Projects tab will be his domain, where he will post about our boat repair projects. My normal posts will appear under the Blog tab, hopefully with much greater regularity.

Please, click around a bit, and let me know if you find things that need to be fixed. Some pages are still in progress, but we will be updating soon. Thank you, truly, for looking!