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Cape Cod Love Letter

Cape Cod Love Letter
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Above, a clear blue sky, and beyond, all that water.
The Cape makes me want to be a better woman.

Though I vacation in the valley of the fried clam, I shall consume only broiled fish, I vow as we prepare for takeoff over Sagamore Bridge. Early in my week, I even head to the basement of a church in town for a bit of aerobic torture known as the Wellfleet Workout. By Friday, I’m brunching on vodka tonics, dipping my Cape Cod potato chips into smoked bluefish pate from the local fish market, and figuring out whether I want mashed potatoes or fries with my lobster pie at Clem & Ursies.

Aspirations come easily from the seat of a beach chair. When I get home, I muse as I watch the tide come in, I’ll redesign my garden. Out with the phlox and in with the bushes of silvery-blue Russian sage that grow so audaciously next to the lemony daylilies on the traffic islands off Route 6. I’ll grow blousy blue hydrangeas, even the lacecap variety that seem to spring up almost wild on the Cape, even though they may not bloom well in my temperature zone in northwest Massachusetts.

And I will be well-read. That 10-inch stack of New Yorkers accumulated over the spring will be digested, along with the latest Tom Friedman tome.

Like the diet, such plans are abandoned in short order, and by midweek, I’ve plowed through a potboiler picked up for a quarter at a church tag sale on Route 6. And I know more about Archer Mayor’s Brattleboro than Tom Friedman’s Lahore.

There’s a poster at the Wellfleet Public Library announcing a lecture by a very smart man. Oh, too bad, he’s speaking next week. The extent of our cultural meandering is to tune in to an evening concert from Tanglewood on the radio while we play crazy eights in the living room. From our deck on Wednesday night, we can hear the music and see the contra dancers on Wellfleet Pier as we play Scrabble.

Every year we say, “Hey, we should go do that.”

Every year, we never do.

Last year I spotted a cell phone user on our beach. Actually, he wasn’t on the beach; he was in the water, cavorting with his golden retriever as he talked. It’s just wrong. I want to tell him: no multitasking. Relaxing and searching for doubloons only. Get off my beach and come back when you can follow the rules.

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