Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sand and Tchotchkes

Every year at this time we head out for a week at the Mecca of Massachusetts, Cape Cod.
We’ve been renting the same house for 7 or 8 years, in a town without the crazy-as-a-bedbug fun of Provincetown or the historical significance of Hyannis. We’ve simply grown fond of this house and its handy location for reaching other parts of the Cape.

You adjust to a different mind-set on the Cape, one of flip flops and shorts at dinner. A front yard of sand instead of grass is just fine,
and driveways back at home look like superhighways compared to the roads here. 

When we arrive, we always wander through the house to see what’s been changed since last year: maybe a new lounge chair’s been added on the patio, or we’ve been upgraded to a fancier dish drainer in the kitchen.

Beware the Couch With No Springs. Small children have been known to disappear, never to be found.

The furniture seems to be an eclectic and changing inventory of cast-offs from the owner’s primary residence. 

Definitely constant are the knick-knacks, doodads, and the unexplainable.


For instance, every year I wonder why one of the bedrooms houses a saddle; there’s not a horse to be found within a ten-mile radius of here.

I am able to explain why the clock in another bedroom is an hour slow. It’s been hung so high that obviously no one bothers to change it for daylight-savings time. 

But outside of getting to the beach for high tide, does anyone really care what time it is?

There’s also a rich assortment of cute-as-pie decorations. I’ll let them speak for themselves

        Also, as promised, and to keep the shameless self-promotion going,  here's another passage from my book Earthly Needs:
(And yes, you too could be the proud owner of a copy merely by clicking on the link provided to the right of this column!)

It was the end of first period and Lila Wallace was just beginning to present the homework assignment to the protesting faces before her when she heard a loud thump against the heavy brown classroom door. This was followed by a great scuffling and shrieking. Her 10th grade English class reacted as one, preparing to leap to their feet and investigate. One thing you could usually depend in an urban high school was plenty of excitement, thought Lila. “Sit!” she commanded on her way to the door. At the end of the corridor she would have sworn she saw Assistant Principal Paschetti, but then whoever it was vanished as quickly as virtue at a senior prom.


  1. I do like Miss Cape Cod mouse. Is the floor under her varnished plywood, or an artful rug?

    1. No, actually she's sitting outside in a flower bed, a Cape version of a garden gnome.

  2. What a wonderful place to vacation.

    Wishing you huge sales with your book. It sounds very good.

  3. That cottage on the beach is just the sort of place I'd love to buy. A week a year simply wouldn't be enough time there. Love the little mouse with the maize skirt.

  4. Your holiday residence has charm. Isn't it lovely when clocks are irrelevant.
    And Earthly Needs is in my unread tower. I will get to it. Soonish.

  5. Someone is quite the flag-waver. Lots of red, white and blue in that decor!

    LOL at "virtue at a senior prom."

    1. Reminds me of my street. Someone took a pallet and painted the American flag on it.

  6. How neat to visit the same place each year so you can notice the changes and to have a sense of the familiar with what hasn't.

    1. Yes, Patti. Coming back to the same place every year, we can pretend it's ours!
      (Although here at the Cape, a simple summer cottage is worth quadruple what it would be back in the real world.)

  7. I'm in the same boat as EC: I ordered your book but it sits unread while I make my way through the book about Oz. What a nice little place you've found. :-)

  8. We go back to the same house year after year after year in Tenby, Wales. People think we're mad, I'm sure, and unadventurous. But it has everything we want, and I love it.


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