The MomScribe family bought a cottage at Eastham, Massachusetts, in 1986. It was near First Encounter Beach on Cape Cod Bay. They sold that cottage in 2001, but they continued to go there every summer.
That ended this year.
For the first time in 26 years, they set up camp at a different cottage. This one is on Kingsbury Beach, still on the Bay side, about a mile or so up the beach from the old cottage.
It’s still Cape Cod. It’s still the Bay. The sunset looks the same. The hermit crabs and snails and other marine animals look the same. The sand is still perfect for building huge castles, and the locals still apparently practice voodoo (see accompanying photo – but spit over your left shoulder and turn around three times before you look).
This place, the new cottage, is fantastic. We would recommend it to anyone who wants to get away for a week or two. It’s still within easy driving distance of our haunts in Orleans and Eastham, and it has a sunset deck!
Something’s missing, though.
A family can’t spend two and a half decades in the same vacation spot and simply expect those memories to drift away on the next tide.
MomScribe and her sister, AuntScribe, were little girls when the old cottage became a family fixture. Now, they both have husbands and their own kids. As the years passed, and the family continued to congregate at the old cottage every August, I’m sure they expected their own kids to build their summertime Cape memories on the foundation begun 26 years ago. A foundation seated firmly on the rickety wood planks of that dear, old cottage.
They’ve made the best of the move. That’s been pretty easy, actually, because this new place is, as I say, fantastic.
Still. The emotional tug of the old cottage is powerful. On the beach today, AuntScribe looked up from digging in the sand when she heard a door slam from the ridge above.
“That’s what I miss about the old cottage,” she said. “You know the sound the screen door made when someone was on their way down to the beach? I miss that sound.”
I remember that sound. It could be heard from the beach no matter how far out we’d wandered at low tide – and the tide goes out for miles on Cape Cod Bay. That sound meant someone we loved – a friend, a family member, a neighbor – was on the way down to join the fun on the beach.
I think about my kids growing up on Cape Cod. I think about the little things they’ll pick up on at this cottage, or the next cottage. I wonder what their “slamming screen door” will be.
It will be something, I have no doubt. And as long as it has to do with family and good friends, that’s all that matters.