What we did last week.

Photo from the lighthouse’s website.

We spent the week at Sherwood Point in Door County, Wisconsin. If you are from the Midwest you probably know of Door County as a tourist destination, full of wineries and apple orchards and art galleries and more lighthouses per square mile than any other county in the state. We went there, however, because Smokey discovered that we could stay in a semi-retired lighthouse. He invited his brother, who lives south of Chicago and who is fascinated with anything nautical, to join us.

My photo taken shortly after we arrived. Note that the light is on in the lighthouse.
I assume that it would appear much brighter if I were out on Lake Michigan.
We never did figure out what this sidewalk was for.
Who installs a sidewalk to get to their septic drain field (the mound in the background)?

The lighthouse was automated in 1983. Since then the attached lighthouse keeper’s house has been available to active and retired military personnel as a rental. All three of us are retired military (having served an aggregate of 57 years, 40 years of it by Smokey’s brother), so we qualified.

Brother Bob found that there was a stash of log books — 14 of them! — in which previous renters had recorded their experiences. He amused himself for hours on end reading them. One of the most interesting things he found were references to Minnie, a former lighthouse keeper’s wife who in 1928 collapsed while rising from her bed and died. Many vacationers have claimed that Minnie’s ghost haunts the lighthouse to this day. The three of us are not susceptible to such notions, so we did not experience any paranormal events.

Bob and log book, Percy relaxing.
Smokey playing beauty shop with Misha. She really needed it. That pile of fur is from a 6-square inch area on her right flank. The round can holds dog treats — her reward for allowing the grooming.
Misha may act like a puppy, but she is getting grayer by the minute.


Brother Bob was a dedicated Navy sailor. After he served his four-year active duty hitch, he stayed in the Naval Reserve for many years — hence, all those gold stripes on his sleeve. I don’t remember what his original naval job was, but he spent the last several years as a career counselor; that job entailed both persuading current enlistees to remain active and to direct them to any and all benefits of being in or retired from the navy. In was his this last capacity that he found out about vacationing in a lighthouse keepers’ house. Thanks, Bob!

Anyway, we all relaxed and napped and chatted; all of Smokey’s family and extended family are great talkers and storytellers. Since I was raised in rural Minnesota by stoic Scandinavians, I tend to be the listener rather than the talker.

Clearly, there had been crafters who stayed here in the past. The evidence:

I felt compelled to follow that tradition*:

There were lots — LOTS! — of lighthouse-related memorabilia and decor.

Now for the most important part of the vacation: what we ate, or at least, what we ate one night. While in search of a Chinese buffet (which turned out to be out of business) we found a Mexican restaurant. The decor was delightful, the food was excellent, and the servings were so generous that Smokey got four meals out of his fajitas. Oh, and I had my first — but not my last — mojito. I now understand why they are so popular.

* What did I knit on this vacation? You will find out on Unraveled Wednesday tomorrow.

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10 Responses to What we did last week.

  1. Carol Waudby says:

    That sounds like a great adventure.

  2. Kathleen Walsh says:


  3. gayle says:

    A lighthouse!!! What a wonderful adventure!

  4. Kat says:

    What fun! I tried talking Steve into doing this at a lighthouse in northern Michigan… it is a no-go for him! So thank you for sharing so I can vicariously come along!

  5. Karen says:

    Sounds like so much fun. There’s a lighthouse in Michigan that you can stay in. Is the Mexican restaurant in Sturgeon Bay. It looks familiar.

  6. Kym says:

    What a GRAND adventure!!! Here in Michigan, we have 129 working lighthouses (and a lot more non-working – but still picturesque – lighthouses), and you can stay in 7 of them. I’m not sure what the requirements ARE for staying in them, but I think it would be fun to check it out. I’m so glad you guys had such a fun – and interesting – adventure a charming location. XO

  7. That sounds like an amazing trip! (And your dinner pictures are making me hungry…)

  8. handeyecrafts8306 says:

    I HAVE heard of Door County, and always hear it referred to as “charming,” It looks much more “interesting” to me.

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