Saturday, October 1, 2011

Elora's Big Year

Turning seven is a very big deal in our family. Seven, you see, is the magic age at which one is allowed to ascend the staircase to the top of the North Head Lighthouse. Seleia was finally old enough to be admitted last summer (We saw whales from the top of the tower! Beautiful!) and this year was it was finally Elora's turn........except for the fact that all but the foyer of the lighthouse is closed to visitors for safety reasons. What safety reasons, you ask? Well, it turns out that when they went to do a bit of interior painting they discovered that the previous painters had used the wrong paint. So much moisture had been trapped under the paint that the metal spiral staircases and the metal landings had been rusting and rotting away, and no one had been any the wiser. (Can I just say that knowing I was on those last year, and seeing their current condition, has in no way helped with my irrational fear of spiral staircases?)
So. Elora knew it was closed before we got there, but it was still quite a let down.  She was a great sport, though, and told the volunteers that she had been waiting and waiting and she was finally 7, and why couldn't she just go up? "I'm sneaky, I can step over those broken parts." But very graciously she settled for learning about the lighthouse and viewing the damage from the ground floor. When asked if she knew what a lighthouse was for, Elora replied, "To tell ships it is not safe to come to land there, but that there is somewhere safe nearby." Even I was impressed with her answer. They took quite a bit of time with her, asking her questions and answering hers, before they gave her a bookmark and some brochures to remember her almost trip to the top. She put a few dollars in the donation box  (Lighthouse repair is so low on the government fiscal totem pole that they are relying on the buck-at-a-time donations from tourists to be able to complete the repairs. That makes me so sad!) and proudly took her literature, thanking the volunteers for all that they taught her.

The day wasn't a total wash though.  She did get to hold a puppy.

1 comment:

Who am I... said...

Bummer dude!!! But you got great photos :)