Last summer, I begrudgingly entered one of the souvenir (and Big Inflatable Thing) stores on rt. 6 with the family. They had succumbed to an urge for hooded sweatshirts that said CAPE COD on them, and a need to putter among the fridge magnets before we headed back to real life.
I picked up a white coffee mug, with the Wellfleet, MA sign on it, for myself. Hot coffee season was still many months away, but I knew that a day would come, in the middle of winter, when I’d want to be reminded of the most heavenly place on earth. I went outside and stole a few minutes with a book and a beach chair while the Mr. and kids browsed the tchotchkes and paid for the tourist merchandise.
Well, that day has come. Not for the first time, to be sure–but this was the kind of day that I had in mind when I bought that tourist coffee mug.
I want to get into the car and head for the Wellfleet of summer—with its sun and sand and breeze; with its tides that rise and cut off access to places (sometimes while you’re in those places); with the racing over to Moby Dick’s for an early dinner before the gargantuan line forms; with the Drive-In movies and the requisite Burning Hot Flea Market Afternoon, when we all begin to turn on each other; with the TVs that have the most basic of cable, if that; with an obscene number of books to be read; with the many walks on broken clam and oyster shells; with its uncrowded beaches and protected seashore; ….and with, of course, duh–the sweetest sounds, which brought us there in the first place. Where I get to be away, but still, in a way, at home.
But in leiu of the Wellfleet of summer, I’d happily take the Wellfleet of right now. I can handle it–I’m a New Englander. I know how to hunker down in a storm and read by candlelight when the power goes out. I’d discover the Wellfleet of winter, when all of the summer places are closed and the population shrinks and things are a lot quieter.
I just want to get back there, and soon.