January 12, 2007 in Keepers Log

Dirty Job

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This post is dedicated to those who envy me my job as lighthouse keeper.

The lighthouse basement is wet and dank. It could be described as an “inter-tidal zone” since it often floods at high tide. Fortunately, the high tide usually does not reach basement during the first and last quarter moon, which makes for an ideal time to work in the basement without getting sopping wet. That’s why I chose this week to venture into the dank, dimly-lit depths of the lighthouse–the belly of the beast. I recruited Bobbie and Alex, a couple of brave youths, to help me clean out some of the junk. We transported a couple of loads to the Coast Guard dumpster: a cracked and corroded pot-belly stove, a rusty furnace, old pipes, and some unrecognizable globs of wet trash. We also performed some repairs on the composter. Donning knee-length waterproof boots, rubber gloves, and particle masks, we got dirty. When I mentioned the work I was doing to a friend, she was reminded of a Buddhist sect who would deliberately exposed themselves to vile circumstances to practice non-discrimination. Well, let me put it this way–I filled two 5-gallon buckets with “vile circumstances.” I concur with Bobbie Dangerously, who said after we moved the composter, “I now have a whole new scale for what’s disgusting.”

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