The lights come on in a timely manner so business can ensue as usual. Inspecting the grounds for the nights prowlers, investigating for new discoveries as we go.

Coffee is lovingly made to cease the morning chill. The air smells like glue, wood and cardboard, greeting our nostrils and subconsciously preparing our hands for the fun to come .A new day can begin almost as seamlessly as the one before it ended. Friendly “hello’s” and “good morning’s” echo off the walls like bird calls against a canyon. A sense of being in your home away from home resounds off the wallboard adorned walls.

Then, the noise commences. A cacophony of men music and machines envelopes us as we undertake the days challenges. Hammers swing and staples fly. A camaraderie builds as we do. We yell at and with one another inharmoniously beseeching for our needs. It is this place where we create something that would not have been the same otherwise, something very unique and special. We gain strength knowing everything we accomplish and empowerment accomplishing all that we undertake. Day by day, overcoming figurative as well as literal obstacles. Growing with one another to really be all that we are and could become. We are our own inspirational and educational teachers.

Suddenly a sing song voice is perceived over the others. It musically chimes out “yoo hoo”. A chorus of others follows. Then the sound of a hammer drumming away across a building table. Almost pushing the masses toward anarchy (but only almost). Now a forklift maneuvers around in the next aisle over beep beep beeping its own harmonious little ditty. The minutes wined into hours when a palpable sense of relief washes over with one word. Lunch. What an experience! The smells of 40 kinds of food being made intermingling, while the microwaves hum and beep along. Some may stay while others will go however we will all return.

Breaks break up the day and work breaks up the breaks. Once every few months when you least expect it the fire alarm shrilly screams out in protest to get out of the building. But don’t fret this is only a test. On birthdays we are privileged enough to be gifted with delightful baked goods lovingly prepared much like our products. Ingredients tossed inside with just the perfect amount to bring about completion. Much like the Lighthouse has become more than a place to work this poem has evolved into a detailed tirade. So I will bring it to a close.

We prevail daily, continuing enhancing and let’s not forget earning. Meshing together as only strangers brought together by a similar desire can. We share a commonality and have become a sordid family. I hope that I have been able to convey to you today what and how much this place means to the people involved. Thank you.

– Jennifer Marshall, Inland Northwest Lighthouse Employee