My Big Fat Greek Revival

The Biography show Haunted History, a Saturday afternoon delight, has introduced manse after decadent southern manse of delicious Plantation, Classical, and Greek Revival architecture styles which cause my pulse to quicken. Seeing these Plantation-type homes has ignited something O.C.D. and primal in me, as I would imagine a past-life suddenly recognizing something familiar (if I believed in that sort of thing). I get stuck on a style and drift off into a hazy maze of lustful reverie for months or years. I’m on year 30 of my obsession with old ships, year 33 of obsession with castles. All I can do is swoon and seek real estate outlets online to drool over. And I found my treasure trove at a little site called OldHouses.com – I could indulge for hours on this site, scheming of how I could sell my Chicago loft and move out of state…to the middle of nowhere…away from family and friends…with no job…and this is the part where practical reality painfully seizes my vision, inserts the knife, and twists. Ah well, a girl can dream[home], can’t she, Rhett?

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You Lighthouse My Life

When I was very young, whenever we would pass a particular cemetery in Joliet, Illinois, without fail I would point to the limestone entrance which was a single castle-esque cylindrical cupola with a door, and say “That’s my house. I’m going to live there.” For years this went on. And when I pass it to this day I secretly think to myself, “That’s mine.” I dig the single cupola look, which is why I adore lighthouses. Being enamored with the ocean and old ships, a love of lighthouses comes naturally (must I always contend that I was born in the wrong era?). In high school I went through an actual “lighthouse phase”, trying to figure out just how I could eventually live in one. I had drawn out all these plans in Drafting class for the different chambers and designated levels. Ah, I was such a dreamer – and with one unaccounted for problem: I suffer from a SEVERE fear of open heights. Looking at photos of great heights or just talking about them makes my hands sweat, so living in a lighthouse would require the top to be capped. That would come at an extra expense. I would write that check to the contractor from my very imaginary bank account of millions.

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A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for pilots at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses are used to mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals and reefs, and safe entries to harbors, and can also assist in aerial navigation. Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and replacement by modern electronic navigational aids. Thank you, Wikipedia.

Technology has made these gorgeous structures obsolete, and many are under the protection of historical societies. As with churches, I envy those who can buy them and make them into their homes. Practicality or feasibility will never dampen my envisioned romanticism about living vertically along the ocean coast, listening to the waves crash against the shore while watching a storm roll in. It’s there waiting for me, located somewhere between Port Heaven and My Dreamsville.