Thursday, June 26, 2014

The setting for my stories - Wellfleet on Cape Cod

The setting for my stories - Wellfleet on Cape Cod

Today, I'm at Chipmans Cove in Wellfleet thinking back on all the times that I played on this beach.  I bet my footprints are still somewhere in the sand.  When the tide came in, I was swimming or floating on an inner tube; at low tide, I'd be walking out on the muddy flats with my Dad and Uncle Leo, searching for clams and oysters.     

As a child, I spent summers at my Aunt and Uncle’s cottage  – an antique white shingled house with green shutters and a cement patio that surrounded it on two sides. Every day began with us kids raising the American flag over the barn, a tradition that ended with my father and uncle’s generation.  A game of horseshoes played in the sunny, sandy yard filled the rest of the morning.  On warm evenings, we cooked hotdogs and marshmallows over a driftwood bonfire on the beach while basking in the bright crimson sunset.  Back at the cottage, we entertained ourselves with concerts played on the mesmerizing and magical player piano.  Bedtime meant the long steep climb up the stairs to a single, large, often hot and sultry dormitory style bedroom. 

The house is gone now, in fact a new house stands in its place, but the memories, ghosts, and echoes of laughter will ever live on that land.  The bobwhites still sing – not the same ones, but the descendants of those who sang for me as a child – or so I believe.  There is something about this town, this place that heals me, lightens my heart, and refreshes my soul, and when I return, I sleep contented – like one who has come home.

So you can understand a little, I hope, of why I have chosen this particular spot to anchor my stories... I'm confortable here and so are my characters.  They can sit and watch the tides, walk the beach, paint the vistas... even find dead bodies.