When we first got our drivers licenses and discovered new-found independence, Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth, became one of our “go to’s.”
We visited often as teenagers, climbing the rocks, walking the paths through the woods and around the locked stone lookout tower, pushing each other on the old-fashioned swings or fooling around on the wooden teeter-totters.
The park originally opened to visitors in 1961. It comprises 41 acres of rocky headlands with views of Casco Bay and the open Atlantic Ocean. It was named for the twin lighthouses, built in 1828, nearby at the end of Two Lights Road. The eastern light is still an active light station, visible 17 miles out to sea. The western light is a private home, having ceased operation in 1924.
We still visit the park often, my husband and I alone, or for years, with our kids when they were young.
Christmas or New Year’s Day are particular favorites to go, when the park is quiet and the winter waves crash forcefully against the rocks.
It was on one of our earliest visits that I fell in love with the house.
It is the first home just beyond the perimeter.
The sign on the rocks says it’s the end of the park, go no further, private.
But we can sit just beside the sign and view “my” house in all its spooky glory.
In the 1970’s, it looked abandoned or rarely lived in. The front yard was overrun with brambles and brush. The gray shingles were weathered and in need of repair, as did the veranda that ran the entire front length of the house.
I’ve always been a dreamer; a writer; a creator. What comes with that is an imaginative mind where I can dream up all sorts of fantasies and personas.
I imagined that one day, as a reclusive author, I would live in that house.
I would gaze out at the ocean from the 2nd story windows of my bedroom with my morning coffee or while sitting at my writer’s-desk-with-a-view, pondering the characters of my novel.
I would drink sun tea leisurely in a wicker rocking chair on the large front porch on bright summer days.
I would build a wood fire in the grate on stormy evenings when I could hear the howl of the wind and the raging sea.
I would prepare wholesome meals in the massive, old fashioned kitchen that I envisioned to look like the servants’ kitchen of Downton Abbey with a large farmhouse sink, free standing Shaker-style cupboards painted Federal green or gray, and a massive reclaimed wooden working table to lay out my pie crust and on which to knead my bread dough.
This was my favorite house.
A young girl’s dream.
Every time I’ve gone to the park over the last forty years, I’ve always peeked at “my” house.
Several years ago, it was dramatically spruced up. The ancient shutters with the half moons which could close up against the glass windows in storms were removed in favor of all new, upgraded windows which likely now keep out the cold and wind.
They did a beautiful job restoring this lady to her prior grandeur…without losing any of her allure or mystery to me.
There may still be time for me ……. to one day inhabit “my” house.