Archive for September 2010

When Summer Ends on Cape Cod…

September 23, 2010

For most people on the Cape this summer ended on Labor Day, but according to Mother Nature on this year’s calendar it ends on the 22nd of September. In the past, while living on the Cape full time, I had my very own way of detecting the end of summer. It was always one of the last days of August, different days in different years, but the feeling was the same and I recall it well.

That end of summer for me would come on a warm, sunny day when trees looked royal with the sun’s golden touch. It was the day when I could detect that the sun’s warmth was different than on the day before — I could sense it with my skin. That warmth was not as intense, but soft and not reassuring of its arrival the next day. The air was a bit hazy and one could hear the characteristic insects’ buzz announcing the season’s change. I knew that the very next morning crisp air would arrive — autumn’s messenger. So I would sit for a while on my favorite rock in the yard near the house, wrapped in that soft warmth, and watch things around me. I would imagine leaves falling from the trees, cold winds blowing into the walls of our home, and snow covering the driveway. And I would become sad counting how many months would have to go by before another summer would arrive again.

Well, I do not feel that kind of sadness anymore since I have ‘my’ Tucson. As much as I love Cape Cod and as much as I know how charming the autumn can be here, the end of summer is my time to go southwest. And now comes a different type of sadness, sadness of parting with friends, sadness of saying good bye to things I love. But every departure has also the joy of arrival and I am looking forward to that.

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The last days of summer are quite special on the Cape. The weather is fine, flowers are still blooming, and beaches are spacious again.

Sporadic spells of cold and rain — a good reminder to prepare the house for the coming fall and winter days.

For me, who does not like cold weather and never really was able to learn to like it, it is a reminder of getting ready for departure to Tucson, a place where summer almost never ends.

So it is time to walk out of this house which will welcome warmly new winter tenants soon. It is time to say good bye to the woods and the neighbors.

Time for a farewell lunch at our favorite restaurant in North Falmouth with its Reuben sandwiches and great quahogs that I will miss greatly. A last photo opportunity for me and my son whose time is also divided — between Boston and Cape Cod.

Two people in front of the sign for The Silver Lodge, North Falmouth, Massachusetts

Finally it is time to cross the Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal (which separates the Cape from the main land) and ‘plow’ across this vast country — going west this time.

Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal, Massachusetts

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Copyright © 2010 by Alicja Mann

Lessons from the Beach – Part Two

September 6, 2010

This is the continuation of my blog entry Lessons from the Beach that I posted last week just before Hurricane Earl’s arrival on the Cape and Islands. Well, Earl landed here rather softly — more like a tropical storm than a hurricane. I am very glad in spite of all the preparations and spoiled plans. Who needs all that hurricane aftermath? However, some people were disappointed — they would like to have a level of danger and excitement, but with no damage costs. Well, that is not a simple wish. After all Mother Nature is not like a cook in a restaurant, “Would you like your steak/storm to be rare, medium, or well done?” In any case, the ocean is calm now and the beaches are full of people again, enjoying their last weekend of summer.

In this visit to the beach I focused on observing much younger kids than in Lesson #1.

I hope you will enjoy this post although it can’t possibly substitute for a real visit to the beach.

Beach Lesson #2 – About determination, helping, cooperation, challenge, excitement and joy. Also about independence and the pleasure of solitude.

Making ponds in beach sand and supplying them endlessly with ocean water was a challenging task for each child. Perhaps joining forces could bring success?

Girl pouring water onto the beach from a bucket Boy and poured water puddle on beach

Boy walking toward girl on beach Boy and girl working together on beach

Oh, those waves!

Girl and boy on beach watch wave coming toward them On boogie boards in the ocean
Girl and boy on beach running from a wave

Sometimes it is nice to be alone.

Girl walking on beach Girl on beach fills box with sand

Summer ends today on Labor Day — this is the end of beach lessons and time for school lessons for many children visiting Cape Cod. But the ocean and beach will welcome them again next summer.

It is up to all of us, however, to make sure that our beaches will be clean and free of oil spills for future generations of children to enjoy.

People in ocean with sun behind

Bird on beach

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Copyright © 2010 by Alicja Mann

Lessons from the Beach – Part One

September 2, 2010

I stated in my last post of this blog, Trapped in a Vacation Place, that it takes some effort to practice vacationing in the place of so many memories, emotional investments, and commitments. There is no question about the beauty of Cape Cod and it would be foolish not to have some fun and relaxation in such a place. My friends’ comments (about that post) and good wishes convinced me. Many thanks! I did go several times to my favorite beach (and very popular one), Silver Beach in North Falmouth. It is only a mile from the house and liked for its good sand. I was also encouraged to post more pictures. So here are my photographic observations with a few words.

Beach Lesson #1 – About creativity, patience, satisfaction and optimism. Also about acceptance and ‘letting it go’.

This was a day of building sand castles, than destroying them or leaving them behind. The day was warm, clear and sunny. A lot of satisfaction was in the air.

This was a day of building holes — a competitive edge was there, but not that sharp. The walls had to be strong, especially on the ocean side. The holes had to be big enough for sitting in them.

But the wind and ocean waves will take away these sand creations, destroyed or left behind. That will only depend on the strength of the waves and passing time.

The ocean remains powerful and indifferent.

Speaking of ocean power — I have to go and get prepared for hurricane Earl’s arrival on the Cape! I will post the remaining lessons from the beach in a few days.

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Copyright © 2010 by Alicja Mann

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