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Keeping the Lighthouse

I would keep a lighthouse.

Don’t really know a lot about them, about what it takes to keep one, to do the job. I’ve lived my whole life in the precise middle of the United States, unaffected by their charm. They’re a coastal thing, lighthouses.


For sale in the UK.

I do understand they’re mostly a thing of the past. Many have fallen into disrepair, not just because of neglected and expensive maintenance needs, but also the advancements at sea that have rendered the use of them less necessary. But find one for me anyway, somewhere—my soul has always been drawn to Maine—with a small vintagey cottage at its trunk. That’s where I’d live, contendedly.

I would operate the beacon of light, I would do my best to navigate others safely. That would come first, at odd hours in the dark I would do my duty proudly. I would do the necessary bits to maintain it all, bringing in help when required, that’s how I would build my circle of acquaintances. And when no light was needed, if everything was in order and I could let it be, I would hunker down into my quiet cottage and write. Just give me WiFi and a stout coffeemaker. Novels and pens and journals. Easy snacks and an open mind, warm quilts and a faded, well-worn decor. I would be supremely inspired — and at peace — in a place like that.

It would be the best of two worlds: work that mattered, paying enough to exist, and living a simple, creative life.

I would keep a lighthouse.


This post originally appeared January 7th of this year on my blog Woman, Determined.

Cranberry Bread

One of our favorite goodies to share this season is cranberry orange bread.  I discovered this recipe on a trip to Kennebunkport, Maine at a lovely Bed and Breakfast Inn by the name of Captain Lord Mansion. It was years ago.  Frankly, I don’t care to admit how many years, but numerous to be sure.  🙂 Translated:  they may not serve this bread anymore but when they did, it was warm and accompanied by a bowl of oatmeal.  While its delicious plain, butter makes for a delightful addition. 

So this year, if you’re looking to bring  a smile to someone’s face and you want to try something new, give this one a chance.  It’s a hit with everyone who tries it, cranberry lovers or not!

Cranberry Bread

With this recipe, they say to make sure it is made exactly as written. Or as close to exact as possible.  I don’t follow recipes to a “T” and this one still manages to come out delicious. 🙂 So feel free to experiment!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together in large bowl:

2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

5 cups flour

2 1/2 cups sugar

3 tsp baking powder

In small bowl using a hand mixer, place the following ingredients one at a time. Beat vigorously after each addition.

2 eggs

8 TBSP melted butter

2 cups orange juice

1 cup water

Make well in dry ingredients and pour at once wet into well. Stir until moist.

Fold in

2 cups whole cranberries (can be frozen)

Pour into 3 greased and floured pans and bake for 1 hour — careful NOT to over bake.  Check with knife — should come out clean.  Serve warm and enjoy.  Freezes well.

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