Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas at Lime Rock

Have you ever thought what it must be to spend a Christmas day in a lighthouse? For fifty years my Christmases have been there. To you landsmen and women, a snowy Christmas generally means that the day is complete; but to the lighthouse keeper it is too often ushered in by a northeast gale.

As far as the eye can reach under the light, I see nothing but the fast-driving flakes, while the sea dashes white on the rocks and is a visitor at my windows, knocking noisily every few minutes.

The wind shrieks through this old house, rushes through the lantern with a noise like the shrill whistle of a steamboat foretelling danger, and even around the doors there is a chorus as if an army of fiends were attacking us.

But with all this against is in the elements, in my girlish days we had many jolly Christmases, for we were a large family of boys and girls, and liked, just as I do today, the pleasant giving and receiving of gifts, which marks the birthday of Christ.

Now, with only my brother Rudolph left, we make the day as jovial as can be, and my dinner with its turkey and ‘fixings’ of celery and cranberry sauce, its mince-pies and plum-pudding, I should like to share with you all.

-- Ida Lewis, keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse, Newport, Rhode Island, 1890