The Christmas wreath climbed the Light in a gale yesterday. I had put together a kit to make the installation easier than it has been in years past and I would say that helped a ton. What hurt was a wind that pushed and turned the wreath around like Nureyev as it made its way up. Once the untangling was seen to, the rest was a snap.
On an unrelated note: I believe I will have the cameras back on line by this coming Thursday. The new router is on its way and with a fiddle here and a wiggle there, I should have all three back streaming.
Flying Santa will touch down on Saturday December 14. The time is fluid so I will leave it out for now. What is known is that the jolly old elf is expected before noon. This is always a great time for the little ones and for me.
A power outage last week took out the cameras. I have been pressed into service in a couple of out of town settings and did not check out what was working and broken until yesterday. The router in the the middle of the whole network is broken and in transit to be replaced. I will see if I can reset the cameras at some point. It could be Wednesday as school has first dibs on my time until then.
I have been able to get on all three cameras from school until today. I am hearing that others are having problems and will do what I can to take the work out of the process.
A reminder: The Scituate Historical Society will hold its annual sale on Saturday November 29, 2014 from Noon to 4:00 at the Maritme and Irish Mossing Museum. Author Ted Clarke will be signing his books. Swing by and pick up an offbeat gift for a history buff.
The cameras are live though I have had trouble getting them from time to time with all three browsers I have tried. At school I have all three without a hitch. Here at home, it has been hit or miss. This is a shot taken with Lighthouse01 this morning. Lots of wind and a moderately high tide combine in this picture.
The panning camera requires a user name (history) and a password (scituate). I find that it works best with Firefox or Chrome. The other two cameras work best with Firefox. If you use Chrome try to add the extension that mimics Internet Explorer. If you use Internet Explorer, check your settings for compatibility mode. I found that brought them in for me.
I am working on getting them to record and when I do I will put some of the recordings up. I had hoped to have a much improved camera but that opportunity looks like it has gone by the boards. With some patience maybe the chance will come around again.
I swapped routers this week as the one I had in place was two generations old. I upgraded and the signal all around the house is markedly improved. The downside is that I have yet to match the cameras with the new router. I have worked on it all week and have yet to put together the formula that will make this mess the delicious frappe I want it to be.
Lots of wind this week and plenty of noise but no water or debris over the revetment. While other parts of Sand Hills and Humarock (I was there today) took a hit with seaweed and stone, we were as clean as a hound's tooth here. Next time someone tells you government doesn't get anything done, remind them about the wall here.
Had to put the heat on for a bit as the wind tore around and I am pleased to say the new windows seem to have made a difference. It was great to be able to sit on the couch and not have the curtains blow around your head.
I had visitors last Saturday scouting the site for an independent film. This is a project that was first brought to my attention three years ago. I had a very nice visit with one of the film makers and her friend. The plan is for shooting to take place here next July.
Lots of feedback from an article marking our five year anniversary here at the Light in the Scituate Mariner. The link to the article is here. http://scituate.wickedlocal.com/article/20141018/News/141017183 Thanks to Chris Bernstein and his son Abel for getting us in the right light. I shared this article on Facebook and had more than 5000 see it in a few days. Students were telling me I was Facebook famous.
Since the last blog post we also had a part in the Army of Two 200th anniversary dinner. More than 100 people enjoyed the hospitality of the Barker Tavern. Honoree Sis Dowd stole the show when she led the crowd in an impromptu sing along. Thanks go out to all the volunteers at the Schoolhouse for their work, to Carol Miles for helping me so much with my research, and to Carolyn Bearce who donated several wonderful prizes for the raffle.
The camera apps that come with cell phones continue to offer us new ways to look at familiar places. This one was shot with something called Photosynth. (Remember to click on it for a full view)
We had several guests here over the course of the summer that I failed to acknowledge here. Cousins Kellie and MacKenzie stopped by out of the blue and, as I am crazy for my cousins, I was thrilled that they took a page from my old playbook and dropped by. The next generation of cousins is in good hands by all indications.
Susan and Mike Ahearn visited but I missed them as I was in the attic at the Little Red Schoolhouse counting up the way too many books that we have up there in inventory. I offer Susan A Sorry I missed You and a Glad I was Able to Connect Later.
September is a week in and that has school back in session. Portrait photographers are out in force and over Labor Day weekend there were at least seven weddings that arrived for ceremonies and for pictures. It was as full a time here as I can remember. The beach, the jetty, the parking lot, the wall, and all the benches were jammed to capacity. There was a big time buzz in the air.
The Scituate High School Class of 64 spent two hours here yesterday. I had a great time and I will go on the record to note that not one of them looked like the years had been unkind. You would scarcely believe any of them got out of school when John, Paul, George, and Ringo were lighting up the charts.
Bill Wronski of ayacht technology solutions spent parts of two days here installing the essentials for public wireless access in the harbor and the parking lot. It is not turned on yet but the bones are there and in the near future the switch will get thrown. I thank him for letting me pick his brain while he programmed and wired.
Improvements to the web cams has been an ongoing project. The Arecont company sent out two representatives to demonstrate a couple of cameras and some amazing software. I hope to see that project through before too much longer.
I wrap with the second promised photograph. Our Hannah took this one with an app on her Iphone:
Remarkable crowds here tonight to a full moon rising. A quick estimate would put the group between 750 and 1500 across the past few hours. Another well behaved group too. The flashbulbs were as many as at the Red Carpet before the Oscars. Julie took to the Tower for this shot.
A perfect day for the beach and I have no doubt that there was a long line for ice cream all across town. August is the best of the summer.
I have fallen behind on blogging. I will try to catch up more regularly. I want to share that we are working on a significant upgrade to the web cams. I hope that will be in place soon. I have had some trouble getting on the cameras in place now unless I use the Firefox browser. Give that a try if you are getting held up.
There hasn't been much in the way of news here. No bad behavior that I can share in this setting without being subject to a libel charge. The biggest topic of discussion is the McDonald's Ad that features shots of the light in the open and the close. I was filmed but not featured. I hammed it up too much I guess.
Some wonderful guests on private tours, from as far away as California. The Open House days have been fast and fine. Lots of great questions from kids and adults. As always I learn a lot.
A water line project has come off without too many hangups and thanks go out to Dan Smith of the Department of Public Works who, as he did with the seawall project, has kept the arrow pointed in the right direction without a touch of ego or histrionics.
The gardens are lush and only two people have walked into the house believing it a public place. Win some and lose some is the rule.
There is a terrific interview done by the Scituate Mariner at this link. Tour of the Lighthouse They somehow overcame the fact that I am in it.
Here are some photos from last night's Luminaria. The tiniest nudge of the tripod brings out some cool colors. Remember to click on them to see them in full screen. I am going to get good at this again. Check back.
We cleaned up around the grounds this weekend. The neighborhood gathered yesterday morning to work on the island gardens. I had been out there over the past few weeks trying to clean up in the corners and along the worst of the sand and stone. Screens are in. Most windows, washed. There are several that will be replaced soon and I let them go. In the early afternoon, Julie and I took a ride to R&C Farms for some annuals and perennials for around the house. That work I will show you this way. (It is better to watch with the sound muted and in full screen. I am working on improving the quality of the picture.)
I love getting out there and my watering routine will be quickly established. Hoses have been patched. The shed is sorted. Bike tires are pumped up. Rafts are repaired. The damned cat tries to escape every 10 minutes. In the next few weeks there may be a few more tricks to pull out of the sleeve.
Last weekend saw the first open house. Roughly 220 men, women and children trucked through. Excellent day. Our thanks go out to first time volunteer JoAnn Evans for pitching in. She mastered the call for $2.00 like a carnival barker. Thanks to go out to Carly Longman who helped Hales in the Tower.
The company that has been hosting the web cams (giving them a phone number you can dial up) has changed a few policies in the last month. I am looking for a company with better terms. My apologies to those who have made it a habit to check out Scituate Harbor from the Light. I hope to resolve this in the next couple of weeks.
The gardens are looking good. The parking lot has been cleaned up from the staging done during the rebuild of the wall. Lots of sweeping and scooping, but very satisfying to see it looking so good again. The next project on deck is the installation of new water lines. This should slow people down a bit during the week but not present much of a problem during next Sunday's 1:00 to 4:00 Open House.
I will be posting some pictures later on today. Check back.
I woke up here for the first time five years ago this morning. I was trying to figure out how many nights have found me somewhere else since, and arrived at a number less than ten. I think that means I like it here.
While I have a way to go before I trump John Cushman who spent part of 34 years here, or catch up with Ruth Downton who was here for 23 years, I have made a dent in my quest to be the Cal Ripken of the Light.
The upside has been profound. Haley has met people from all over the world. We had a group of students from The American Field Service program visit here in September. One minute she was treating it like just another tour, the next minute she was walking the jetty, taking pictures, and asking me to find out how she could be part of it. We had Commander Kasper Modhaddam and his wife Janine visit with their girls all the way from Japan in December. A young man living in Alaska found his way all the way here to propose to his girl. Spin the globe and I can tell a story of a guest. That has been a great gift.
We have had Governor Patrick here, and Senator Warren. Congressman Lynch visited after a storm. Groups from France have come each summer and Fred Freitas came with a big group from the big state of Texas. When I was telling the French exchange about the blog and the web cams this past summer, a young man told me he had already been on routinely and that I could expect more traffic from the French countryside when he got home.
We have had this guy here:
And this guy:
And gifts like these:
from a student, Nick Staples, and this sculpture that was built by a neighbor and shared with all the visitors
and from Jessica Maguire's Peggotty Prints (whose blog is a must read for everyone of every age) the longitude and latitude of the Lighthouse in a beautiful print.
There have been storms of all makes and models. There have been gardens of flowers and gardens of vegetables and lots of weeding and watering. The utility room has been rebuilt perfectly by our friend Chuck of Vareika Construction. If you are reading this Chuck, we enjoy that room every day and think of you. The bathroom has been remodeled once and painted twice. We lost a ceiling a year ago when pipes froze upstairs and that was repaired beautifully by John Hallin. Tom Galligan and his crew showed up here in the dead of winter and got the heat running last year. It was 22 degrees in the kitchen at the time. Sean Harris got a vendor to contribute a new heating system. Bob Snow put on storm windows; Ken Litchfield rebuilt the access to the cellar, along with a new runway door. Nate Baker painted the exterior. Charlie Wood rewired the utility room like a master artist. Jerry Houghton has been on call for each time the Light has gone out. Jerry also provided the switch for the generator we hope we never have to use and all the plugs it takes to set up a modern office in a 202 year old Cottage. My brother in Law John Coscia took himself up on the roof to patch up a few leaks around the chimney. A wonderful group of students have painted the fence each year. Research showed me a first floor with different colors and those have been restored to the main cottage. The research binders stand at 9 inches wide. Google tells me that nearly this blog has been visited nearly 90,000 different times. All of this stuff adds up.
I had thought to count all the photographs we have taken but decided against it. I am not sure if I want to know. Sunrises, sunsets, Luminaria, wildlife, construction, destruction, old friends and new, there is rarely a moment that you could not find reason to take a snap shot or hold a pose. One of the surprises of the past five years is the staggering number of people who come here to paint, to photograph, to draw, to pray, to walk, to run, to meditate, to stretch, to fish, to swim, to workout, to court, to argue, to marry, to eat, to drink, to smoke, to park, and to trespass. The numbers would boggle the mind. I am working on a plan to cut down the trespassers though. I am posting a big sign that instructs would be wanderers that if they weren't here to shovel in the winter then they should not be in the driveway or yard in the summer.
So as we kick off year six watching people navigate their way over the ice and snow on the walkway, I will hand off a video of the day. The sun is high. The temperature continues to knock us back. The wind you will hear. We are still glad to be here. We are still trying to earn it. I can't deny that there isn't an element of grief from time to time, but the blanket is warmer than a few frayed ends could ever touch.
Thanks to all who feel for this place the way we do.
I will let the pictures tell the story with this qualifier: The new wall protected the Lighthouse beautifully. This was a tremendously high tide, nearly 14 feet, and with all that water, there was none of the debris that had commonly pelted the Tower and runway threatening the Cottage. Work all the way through the pictures and there will be two links to videos on You Tube.