The answer is clear in a dream.

We bought a lighthouse. It was perfect for everyone, and large enough to house and protect everyone that I hold dear. It became a family project that we all could be part of. We all could add our own expertise. It was the answer to it all. We pooled our resources, and for a mere $1900/month, we solved it all with a lighthouse.

Dad is aging. Our businessman father is also a dreamer. He has a knack for seeing a piece of property, looking past the exterior and seeing it’s potential. That’s how he bought his retirement home on the water. He bought it for next to nothing. We picnicked on that property for many years dreaming about what his future home would look like. My Mom was the legwork behind his dreams, always encouraging him, although he scared her to death sometimes. She said the secret is that you have to be willing to walk away. Mom says that they walked away from plenty of potential purchases over the years that she really wanted, but they received a lot of sweet deals too. He uses the same tactic at 83. He wheels and deals and we all hold our breath. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t.

That’s how we got our lighthouse.

My family loves the water. When things are not going well in our world, we revert to the ocean. Like a good wood fire, staring at the water lap against the rocky shore brings perspective and courage. We spend a lot of time quietly processing, and things always seem better after a trip to the beach. When the children were young, we called trips to the ocean “therapeutic ice-cream runs”. After a twenty-minute ride to the coast, an ice-cream cone and twenty-minutes home, we were good to go for another round.

So, it is only natural that in my dream, we were all in a lighthouse. All of us: My brother and his family, my sister and hers, Mom and Dad, and our own children and families. We all have our specialties and we each tackled different areas of renovation in a house that was big enough to allow us all our own space: A Lighthouse Condominium.

With Dad forever wheeling and dealing, Mom was more concerned about the logistics: heat, the kitchen, and decorating. While my brother renovated with the men, my husband cleaned. Do you know how dirty a lighthouse can get when left over a long period of time? And the yard… Don’t get me started! With three teachers in the mix, we dreamed of making the lighthouse into a museum that others could learn from and enjoy. Why not share? This left the others to design, and organize each room. We all worked together like a finely tuned machine.

The best part is that everyone I care for most in my world was together, working together, supporting and encouraging one another in their area of expertise. Much like the Amish, there would be no worry  of what to do as our loved ones age, or marry and start families of their own. We would all be together to help. I want that.

I want to be there for those that I love as they fail, yet be able to sustain an income from a profession that I enjoy, while being with those I love most. During a storm, I want to snuggle in front of a huge fireplace, in front of a huge picture window, and watch the waves slap up against the huge granite stones around our strong fortress with those that matter most. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel the warmth and safety that I felt in my dream.

That is the answer. We need to buy a lighthouse.

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