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ActiveRainPhotoBloggerContest, and so it began...

The photo that started it all... my dreams ascended with the stairs that sparked my imagination and filled my soul.

Cape Poge Light House

I took this photo while on vacation while at a dear friends house on Martha's Vineyard a few years back with my old Pentax point and shoot. Our spouses were both busy and couldn't go, so we sadly said goodby to them and drove as fast as we could for a long weekend to his house on the Vineyard. The whole place is magical, his house is actually located within the confines of the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge on Chappaquiddick Island. No electricity, unless you make your own, when the sun set we lit candles and oil lamps, drinking in the smells and sounds the ocean provides.

It was reminissent of my life, another life so many years ago on a ranch along the Verde River in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. No power unless we generated our own, no phone lines, miles to the nearest town, life was fantastic! Cape Poge might be thousands of miles and a different landscape from Arizona, and it had been many, many years ago, but the serenity and peace of the place brought back so many happy memories for me of a different time in my life.

One side of the house faces the bay, the other side the ocean, with the lighthouse framed by the kitchen and my bedroom window. With the peace and quiet surrounding us, the smell of the ocean permeating everything, waves lulling me to sleep and night and waking me up in the morning, it was a dream come true. No intrusions from the outside world. The only way in or out is along the beach at low tide, any trips to the store have to be planned around the ebb and flow of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. What a life!

Simple meals, a boiled lobster, corn on the cob, a glass of wine and all the eye candy you can take in. Or how about cheese and wine on the beach, watching the sun setting? Not one other person as far as my eye could see, only the birds running along the beach, darting back and forth with the lap of the waves. We ate on the porch for breakfast, lunch and dinner, one special meal we ate ourselves silly on the steamers I had dug up.

Then we took a walk over to the Cape Poge Lighthouse, my curiosity had been piqued after watching the light house from my bedroom window. I looked inside and shot the photo that made me realize how much I love to take photographs, how photography speaks volumes from one simple click. This is my most favorite photo I have ever taken, and I am sure it will remain so. I can sit very still and hear the waves, I remember the wonderful history of the lighthouse, the generations who lived a harsh life to tend the lights for the ships at sea, I wonder if they loved it as much as I did.

Within my simple photo I see both the past and the future, the hard work of those before me who sacrificed all to tend the flames, the promise of a bright future ahead, the inescapable truth of the past and the fact that our future is full of promise, all is within our grasp. Nothing is impossible. All one has to do is to climb the stairs!

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 34 commentsAndrea Swiedler • May 11 2011 09:38PM


Andrea....  The Artist in me visualizes this as an 8' oil painting or 'photo-on-canvas'
      Good for you.  simple and spectacular !
  have a great rest of the week.

Posted by Barb & Sal Dragotta, Macomb County Michigan over 7 years ago

That is most in interesting photo...... thanks for sharing

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 7 years ago


It sounds like heaven. Your description makes me wish I was there.

Posted by Virginia Kail, True Blue Realty, Homes and Land for Sale (Investments, starter houses, luxury homes,farms, acreage) over 7 years ago


I love the gentle symmetry of this photo and the abundance of white! Very nice indeed!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 7 years ago

Andrea. this photo and the "poem" you wrote with the smell of the ocean and the waves putting you to sleep, the food and the atmosphere nearly made me weep for being seaside again. 

You have a winner here.  If not the contest, with me, for what it is worth. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 7 years ago

The staircase looks as magical as the house and location sound.  Wonderful photo.  Thanks.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 7 years ago

I've seen you post this photo before, and I was amazed at it then, too.  Loved your story, you aren't just an excellent photographer, you're an outstanding writer, as well!

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 7 years ago

Wonderful! Yes, all one has to do is see the stairs in everything we do next. Thank you for bringing back some memories of simpler times from my life behind the camera when I had to develop the film to see the image! (Suggested)

Posted by Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (Hello Realty Partners) over 7 years ago

Hi Andrea, A brilliant entry and so well done! You captured both my interest and my imagination!

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 7 years ago

Barb, thank you, I do love this photo, I have it on my living room wall and often just sit and stare at it.

Tom, thank you! Sometimes simple is best, isn't it?

Virginia, it was a wonderful little trip we had, and I have the best memory tied up in that photo.

Richard, thank you! I was thrilled when I got home and saw it on my computer.

Suzanne, wow, thank you! You are very welcome, and thank you, my photo and my story touched your heart and that is the best complement I could ever receive. Although I don't think I wanted to make you weep.

Lloyd, why thank you! It is truly a magical place indeed. My friend is blessed to have a home there.

Janna, why thank you, and it touches my heart that you remembered the photo. I have indeed used it before.

Emily, it always sparks my imagination when I look at it. Thank you so much!

William, why thank you! That is a indeed a high complement coming from you.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

Andrea - I like this photo, and who doesn't like Martha's Vineyard?! Hope you make a "pit stop" if you decide to visit the Vineyard this summer. :)

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) over 7 years ago

Judy, what's not to like about MV??!! I am trying so hard to get to Winchester to see family, and have a few people... YOU for one... I want to stop and see. Sometimes a place so near just seems so far away, you know?

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

Very cool looking photo Andrea. The 1st thing that came to mind was a stairway to heaven!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 7 years ago

Bill, many have told me that.... and I feel the same way about the photo too. Thanks!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

Andrea - I think I could manage climbing the steps, but might have difficulty fitting through the smaller space necessary to make it to the upper floor. . .But life is often like that:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 7 years ago

Andrea....the is definitely a long spiral staircase that peaks the interest of mystery that may lay beyond. Wonderful!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 7 years ago

Fantastic compostion on this one - I love it and the commentary that went along with it.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 7 years ago

Myrl, LOL, nah, it was a regular openening... they have it open to the public... sometimes

Sally, thank you!

Ruthmarie, I so appreciate your comment, thank you!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

Beautiful photo, Andrea, and a wonderful essay to go with it.  A little peace and quiet and solitude is good for the soul.

Posted by Peggy Chirico, REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate (Prudential CT Realty) over 7 years ago

Peggy, thank you so much! I agree with you, we all need things that are good for the soul on a daily basis.

And by the way, I love your new photo!!!!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago


You got the guts. I do not know what is there that glues the eyes to the photo. Abundance of white, composition... I do not have a clue. But so good.

And you write so well, that it adds even to this image. And adds some symbolism. Stairs going into the white expanse...

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 7 years ago

Jon, Thank you! I am laughing here that you said I have guts, ok, LOL, if you say so! But seriously, I so appreciate your compliments about the photo and my writing.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

Amazing photo good luck with the contest!

Posted by Ron Holborn, Commercial & SFR, Anaheim CA, Real Estate & Short (Short Sales, Foreclosures, Rentals, Income Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Andrea my dear friend tgat us sucg a cool photo not to mention that story to go aling with it. Best of luck my friend. You got my vote.

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 7 years ago

Andrea, cool staircase. Love your photo. Reading your story I felt transported to a New England beach, for me, many years ago. Well done.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 7 years ago

Great the perspective and feeling of it...good story too.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Andrea - we always say "a picture is worth a thousand words" - you truly captured not only the picture but yourself within it.  Outstanding!

Posted by Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale (Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Andrea, loved it with the story and the steps leading me into the future so, so beautifully!

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 7 years ago

Reminded me why I love photography too! Thanks for this great shot!

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) over 7 years ago

It almost looks like a crescent moon to me with TEETH!

Infinity. Could've been the cover to the song Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) over 7 years ago

Martha's Vineyard is a magical place to be, those stair look like they go up to heaven.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 7 years ago

Andrea--Rarely do I find myself enjoying the writing as much as the photo, but you have done a superior job of both here.  Thoroughly mesmerizing....

Posted by Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE) over 7 years ago

Andrea, what a cool story and photo. I like. Good luck with the contest...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Fascinating, stimulating photograph, and the story, well... how beautiful.

Posted by Virginia Gardner, Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia (Roy Wheeler Realty Co.) over 7 years ago