Back to “Ole Cottage”
Aug. 20, 2014
Our second “Ole Cottage” encampment took place in July. The same family with more gear than the average fire department and enough food and drink for three weddings. As usual “Cool Nana” – a name given to her by her grandchildren because she texts them – was in charge. Each couple is designated to prepare and serve an evening meal.
In what I view as a commentary on my skills, I am in charge of trash, or as I like to think of it: “environmental protection.” It is staggering just how much trash we can produce in a week.
The adults would gather in the living room overlooking Vineyard Sound each morning for a couple of hours of “coffee talk.” Some of us believed that was the best time of the entire week. The conversations were varied, lively and laced with outbursts of laughter.
Yes! Your kids can still be fun even when they’ve grown up and some are republicans. I don’t know where that came from; probably just a case of post adolescent rebellion.
My only son, the last of our five children, is getting married at Mt. Washington, NH on Labor Day weekend. There is much discussion about the “destination” wedding. I prefer to stay out of it as much as I can although I hope that before too long we will see our tenth grandchild.
Most of the grandchildren – now ranging from 21 to 11 – sleep in a large third floor dormitory. This year there will be three in college, two freshmen and the oldest a senior at Notre Dame. While their memories of “Ole Cottage” will fade over time, I hope the shared experience will be embedded in their character and in some way be passed on.
Early each morning I got up and walked a mile-and-a-half down the bike trail to Woods Hole to pickup the Boston Globe. The Woods Hole to Falmouth bike trail is right behind the cottage. The trek to Woods Hole is quiet and peaceful at 6:30 a.m.; the village almost deserted at that hour as it prepares itself for the daily invasion.
Like the grand dame she is, “Ole Cottage” sits on a bluff not far from Nobska Light. She has all the character and warmth that one might associate with a rich, elegant, dowager aunt that likes things the way they were when she was young. Nothing fancy; just a little outdated, cozy and comfortable.
If you were expecting Downton Abby, you’d be disappointed. It’s more like This Old House before all the “improvements” overwhelmed its historic style and grace. She retains her dignity among the elaborate new structures in the neighborhood. Despite their presence; it’s still her beach.
There is a lovely patio where you look out on Martha’s Vineyard as the ferries mark time, like waterborne metronomes, as they shuttle back and forth across the sound. Their peaceful passing sets the rhythm of a lazy summer’s afternoon. I fall asleep.
Every night we gathered around a bonfire on the beach and talk, sing, laugh or just enjoy the quiet presence of family. There are few magical moments in life but none so precious than those you share with the ones you love. As I watch the light flickers off their smiling faces, I know how fortunate I am.
“Ole Cottage” is a part of old Cape Cod; before the highways and bridges when the tempo of life on the Cape was slow and the residents few. She liked the way it was back then and disapproves of the many changes that have disrupted its muted cadence.
So farewell old girl; we plan to return in 2016 to once again capture for a week the Cape the way it used to be. Till then cast your sad eyes to the sea where time rests easy like in the old days.