Why do we travel? Why are vacations so important? Sometimes it may be just a weekend, field trip or night away. I’m sure there are many reasons. Some of us enjoy seeing and exploring new places. Having new experiences. New or favorite foods. It’s usually a change of pace. We may get to spend more (or less) time with family. Our daily life traveling, on vacation is different. Usually no work or as many (if any) house chores. I’m pretty sure a recurring reason is “to recharge.” This was certainly always heard in the faculty room justifying teachers’ summer vacation.
Last summer Diane and I spent two weeks in Cape Cod with Jen, Rob, Eli and Viv. My surgeries started in September, then March and May. For a year there was no travel or vacation, few field trips. Now a year later we are back on Cape Cod for two weeks.
Our rental is different this year but both are waterfront. Right now I sit on our screened in porch looking out on Arey’s Pond. To the right is a boatyard. The pond is about a third as big as the Pilgrim Lake cottage ( 5 minutes away) where we rented for three years. The big difference is the Arey’s leads into the Namequoit River, Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Pilgrim Lake was a kettle pond, formed by a melting block of glacier ice. Kettle ponds are freshwater; Arey’s is salt. Fishing is different. Arey’s is tidal and we can walk along the low water shore line to a conservation area with a trail. Nice for a short walk.
Each house has some special features. I like that we have some history of 8 Peck Way (three sisters, owners name) on Arey’s. In the 1950s, the girls parents, Samuel and Marion Peck bought 16 acres of woods on Arey’s Lane with a quarter mile of shoreline along Arey’s Pond and the Namequoit River (what the girls called “The Creek.” Other family members had a cabin across the pond. In 1951, a small cabin (still on the property) was trucked from Sharon, MA. Sam’s father was a house mover. Sam was a teacher and for the next few years, the family spent summer vacations in the cabin and a tent.
In 1954, house construction began and was interrupted and destroyed by hurricane Carol. The house was finished over the next dozen years as finances permitted. Sam believed in an efficient, classic Cape camp preserving the habitat surrounding the house. In 2006, some of the property was sold to the town of Orleans creating the Samuel W. and Marion Hadley Peck Conservation Area. The nice short walk.
We like dealing directly with the owners who wrote in the house history I just shared. In updating the house, they wrote “our goal while trying to make the house convenient and comfortable, is for it still to feel like a classic Cape summer home that features the natural surroundings we come to the Cape to enjoy — the breezes, the Salt air, the sand, the pine trees, the water — and the wonderful wildlife whose habitat we share.”
For me this year on the Cape is about recharging and testing limits. I am still weak and have some permanent medical issues. The question isn’t just what do I want to do but what can I do? Today, in the near future. I’ve been walking for several hours a day, starting to do a little upper body exercise. One big guestion until this morning was kayaking. I bought an LL Bean kayak when I retired. We traveled so much year one, that I never used it. Rather than bring it to the Cape last summer, we rented a canoe. This year we bought a rack and have the kayak. This morning I carefully lowered myself in, Rob pushed me off, and I spent an hour plus exploring Arey’s Pond. The seat was totally comfortable, the paddling felt good. I enjoyed the breeze, the splash of jumping fish, clanging halyards, and ocassional shout or laugh of kids in row boats or paddle boards. The current was gentle easing the kyack through the maze of sailboats. Of the many interesting or fun names, I voted for the green hulled, “Spinach.” Getting out was difficult but I did it, only falling once.
Eli and Rob are fishing. Diane followed me in the kayak. Viv is working on a craft project. Jen unfortunately has some free lance. In our two weeks here, we will enjoy some familiar beaches, trails and restaurants. We will eat a lot of seafood and Eli will continue to try clam chowders. We will explore new places and activities. Parents, grandparents and kids will spend some special moments together. And I know we will all recharge.
I smell some bacon frying for lunch BLTs. Not sure what will happen this afternoon. But i’m not worried; I’m on Nantucket time.