Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey


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I saw the light…

JupiterLighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. ~ Anne Lamott

I’ve always been fascinated by lighthouses. These towering structures not only served as a navigational aide, but they steered mariners away from cliffs, shorelines and potentially hazardous area. They provided a signal to ships, in the darkness and the fog, when they came too close to these areas. Although there are regional similarities in construction, no two lighthouses have been built the same.

During the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about lighthouses and primarily, the role of the lighthouse keeper. It wasn’t an easy life for the keeper or his family. Every two years they were rotated around the lighthouse stations. Some locations were more isolated and less popular, so the rotation prevented friction from building between the lighthouse station families.

As my mind continued to ponder the life of a lighthouse keeper, I was also debating whether to enter a writing contest. I had entered the contest in the past, but this year the timing didn’t feel right. I was enrolled in an online writing course, so I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to work on a new story.

Then a funny thing started happening; I was seeing pictures of lighthouses everywhere. They were in magazines, on blog posts, on TV and then one day, in the newspaper. I was browsing through the Sunday travel section and there it was an article about the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse located in North Carolina. I took it as a sign. I was meant to write a story about the lighthouse keeper and enter it into the contest.

The character was vivid in my mind. I knew his backstory, like an old friend, but I struggled in my attempt to tell his story. After a couple of weeks, I sat down and wrote the ending of the story. I had never done this before, but it was clear to me how I wanted the story to end.

When I finished the ending, I let it sit. A week later when I opened the Word document, it was as though I had turned on a TV. The story of the lighthouse keeper played out in my head, but this time, from the beginning. I plan to submit the story tomorrow.

Have you ever started something someplace besides the beginning?


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Huh?

We’ve all been there. We meet that special someone and start the getting to know each other phase of a relationship. You find out where the person grew up, how many siblings they have, where they went to school, what they do for a living…the list is endless. Your head is in the clouds, you want to learn everything about this wonderful person.

This month, it’s been 17 years since I met my special someone, Derek. I was remembering our first date and all of the things we discovered about each other that night. As I enjoyed going down memory lane, I hit a speed bump when I remembered a question I asked. It was one of those questions where the minute you ask, you wish you could take it back.

That night, Derek told me that he has a twin sister. My question was, “Are you identical?”

Have you ever asked a question that you wished you could take back?


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A special delivery

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Recently, I was having a really bad day. I hadn’t slept well and the moment my feet hit the floor at 4:30 a.m., nothing went my way.

The first thing I do each morning is go downstairs and turn on the coffee maker. Although it’s programmable, going up and down the stairs helps me to wake up. I turned on the machine and headed back upstairs to get dressed.

A few minutes later, the aroma of the freshly percolated coffee wafted up the stairs. I scurried downstairs for that all important first cup of coffee. Unfortunately, my first cup, along with the entire pot, covered the counter top and the floor. Coffee was everywhere, except in my mug. There wasn’t one drop that had made it inside the pot.

By the time I cleaned up the mess, I was late. I was forced to leave the house without any caffeine, which is not good. I wasn’t out of my neighborhood more than a minute and I ran over an opossum. I felt bad, especially because the opossum was in the middle of the road investigating his buddy who had recently become road kill.

The remainder of my day continued about the same. Computer issues at the office consumed most of my day and a major accident backed up traffic for miles. Once home, my day took a turn, when I spied a package on my front porch from blogger and dear friend, Maria.

I recently won a contest on her blog and I knew a prize was forthcoming. What I didn’t know was how special a Priority Mail box could be. From the moment I opened the box, every frustration from the day melted and happiness filled my heart.

The time and thoughtfulness that went into each hand decorated gift bag was unbelievable, especially when I thought about her daily struggles. Like myself, my friend Maria suffers from an autoimmune disease. Every day she goes to combat against Rheumatoid arthritis, but you would never know the challenges she faces. Her love for life radiates, as she makes the most of each day. She is a true inspiration to anyone who lives with a chronic illness.

On that day, my friend Maria turned a crummy day into a day that proved there is still a lot of love and kindness in the world. Thank you, Maria.