I’m packing, basically packed for our annual trip to Cape Cod. . I’m worn out. This will be our fourth year with Jen, Rob, Eli and Viv in Orleans at the elbow of the Cape. Previous years we rented on Pilgrim Lake. Perfect rental for fishing, swimming, sitting in the shade. Rather than bring a kayak or canoe, we rented. This year however, Diane was determined to bring our new orange L L Bean, so last week we purchased a Tule kayak rack. Jer Taylor helped me secure the kayak to the Highlander this morning. Then there are paddles and where are the life preservers?
This year’s rental house is a classic Cape Cod (actually only a short walk from Pilgrim Lake) on Arey’s Pond, leading to the Namequoit River, Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean if your into water adventure. The kids have their own fishing poles but I’ll take one and a small creature net.
Diane packs several boxes of food and cleaning staples. Over ten years vacationing on Nantucket taught us to avoid super markets and empty out the pantry. That way food shopping can be to the bakery, fruits and vegetables from a farm or speciality market and of course fresh seafood. One of the advantages of returning to the same place is that we know the best bakery (maybe it’s the only bakery), where to buy fruits and vegetables and our favorite seafood markets. Tomorrow morning we will pick some vegetables from our garden — eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers. Put several jars of homemade pickles, canned green tomatoes, cheese, and leftovers in the cooler. Might be room for several bottles of Saviginon Blanc.
It’s fairly easy to get toys togehther. Two pairs of binoculars, bird scope and tripod, camera. Later I will add laptop and I-Pad. Although I will probably buy one or more books (nice little bookstore in Orleans), it’s well to bring a few from home. I get Beston’s “Outermost Banks”(environmental classic), “The Salt House: a summer on the dunes” and “The Watch at Peaked Hill: outer Cape Cod dune shack life, 1953-2003.” The latter I discovered on Amazon this winter. I throw in a general book on the Atlantic coast and one on cranberries. (Viv laughed when she read the title of the cranberry book.). I’ll take several journals — my daily, a book to create lists and what I call my “highlights” journal. I don’t expect anyone will read all my scribbling but maybe they will like excerpts — highlights– the best stories. Started it in Nantucket years ago, while Diane cooked, we recalled “stories” we thought kids/grandkids would enjoy.
Since I lost 50 pounds, I’ve been getting rid of clothes and buying new. Shirts, shorts, pants, belt, suspenders, underpants, t-shirts, socks — all new. Do I need all this footwear — crocks, sneakers, sandals, clogs and new dress shoes I want to break in. Then Diane tells me the cat in a fit of rage sprayed my suitcase. It was my favorite suitcase bought for the trips to Nicaragua. She gets one of hers. A bit smaller butpacceptable. I’m going to have a hard time trashing the Timberland.
I count out pills and put them in small wooden travel boxes (actually bought the pill boxes on the Cape years ago). My travel toiletries are usually together in a travel bag. But this year I fill a canvas boat bag with osteomy “supplies.” Maybe the most important thing I pack.
I start to carry food boxes, canvas boat bags, my suitcase to the car. Some are heavy. Diane has filled canvas bags with beach towels, sun screen, bug repellent and personal items. Her suitcase is twice the size of mine and twice as heavy. Will all this fit? In the garage I’ve assembled beach chairs, an umbrella, an ice chest. Diane has purchased a cart to haul stuff from car to beach. It looks big. Will it fit?
Its been in the 90s this afternoon. I’m still surgery slow and weak. But tomorrow morning we are Cape Cod bound. I will get the car packed. Diane takes the cat to the kennel. Up and down; up and down. Wow, everything fits. Tomorrow we will pack a soft ice chest with vegetables from the garden and picks from the refrigerator. Computer and I-Pad fit into a black leather carrying case. “Let’s go!”
But I know. Despite our planning and careful packing, when we pull out on Delaware Avenue, we’ll have questions — do we have a phone charger, did I remember the good filleting knife, extra reading glasses, is the AC off, water heater turned down, do we have some fresh CDs for the trip . . I repeat myself, “Let’s go!”