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Feels Like the Very First Time

The best part of summer vacation is the way you make memories you can almost touch.

Feels like the very first time. I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday for a great prompt. The topic is: The best part of summer vacation is/was.

I’m going to let this post do the walking and talking, with its photos and words from the very first time we had a family trip to Truro. Before we had Des, and after I had fallen madly in love with Cape Cod and especially Truro. It’s slipping away now, as we move into the next phase of life – and my heart is breaking. It would be different if my kids had a lifetime of memories of this place, or if they were too young when we were last there – to make the kinds of vivid memories you can embrace in later years. Instead it’s being cut short – only halfway through the story.

Maybe it has no ending, and maybe we can start from scratch or rewrite the story halfway through. We can make it our own. And who knows? This one may last several lifetimes or so.

The Very First Day of the Very First Time:

I have to be honest. When Cassidy first told me about our long-planned cousins’ reunion at the beach house in Truro, Cape Cod that Cassidy’s family owns, I was less than pleased. I was missing the birthday party of a darling girl I wanted to celebrate and I don’t like missing Northampton weekends because they’re so full of promise. Promise and fairs and berries and the like. I also don’t usually put myself in situations where I’m lacking much needed space.

See, I grew up in a big family and our summer vacations were a bit cramped, I’m sure, but I didn’t care because it was my family. Ever since a fateful weekend in our San Francisco one-bathroom apartment in which one of our invited houseguests had a stomach virus or food poisoning and one of our uninvited houseguests was a freakin’ mouse next to the shower, well, I never fully recovered. I need space. I need to know there’s a room in the middle of the night in which I can read or ground myself or check email. In actuality I rarely, if ever, get up with anxiety in the middle of the night at home. Yet I still like to know there’s space for me if I need to!

Our summer Truro plans included no room for space. All four bedrooms were booked, we had three children – two of whom needed cribs and bedtime routines, a last minute addition sleeping in the living room and two relatives out on the yard in a tent. I was afraid for myself.

Did I mention I’m not really a beach vacation type? There’s only so much sun I can take and I didn’t even own a bikini until this past weekend. I do like to relax but as one of Cassidy’s wise cousins said over the weekend, “A family reunion isn’t rest and relaxation. Being alone or with one other person is.” He’s right. I usually choose my vacations based on adventures – moose, whales, and interesting new places. I wouldn’t ever think to plan a crowded family trip in the same exact state I live in. Three+ hours away, sure, but the same state! Is that a vacation?

Did I mention how wrong I was and how if I sound like an ungrateful idiot, it’s because I am?

Well, I was.

I learned my lesson this weekend. I learned it good. After a 4-5 hour car trip first to Hartford and then back into Massachusetts up to Cape Cod, and then another hour up the crooked, flexed elbow or arm shape of this wondrous “resort peninsula.” We arrived. We were open to the love and the reunion. This was taken seconds after we got out of our cramped car in the driveway:

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She feels the love. Two out of three grandmothers were there. And another two-year-old. And a sweet 11-year-old. And lots of cousins. And a cute dog to boot. It nearly blew her mind.

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Feels like the very first time. I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday for a great prompt. The topic is: The best part of summer vacation is/was.

Cousin Sarah is beautiful inside and out. I especially liked how she patiently took such good care of Scarlet when I decided to fall asleep face down on the bed after too much beaching.

Feels like the very first time. I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday for a great prompt. The topic is: The best part of summer vacation is/was.

Feels like the very first time. I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday for a great prompt. The topic is: The best part of summer vacation is/was.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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Feels like the very first time. I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday for a great prompt. The topic is: The best part of summer vacation is/was.

Feels like the very first time. I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday for a great prompt. The topic is: The best part of summer vacation is/was.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Later that night after dinner, Cassidy and his brother decided to go fishing on the local, quiet beach. It was chilly and the fishing poles took up the whole backseat and I had to illegally sit on Cassidy’s lap while we drove, my head hitting the windshield repeatedly. I wondered if it was such a good idea to tag along.. It was. Turns out, it really really was.

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And then we called it a day. We got there late afternoon and managed to accomplish quite a lot.

Present day me again. I wrote a part 2 and a part 3 filled with stories and photos, and then there was year 2 and year 3 and some years with two visits and somehow it all blurs together in a swirl of sun and ice cream, and only occasional rain. I can’t believe they’re selling the house. It’s theirs to sell and the reasons are great, but I’ll never forget this piece of heaven we held in our hands like sand. Slipping through our fingers, but left scattered in pieces we take home with us. Always finding its way back to its rightful place. Maybe that’s like us. Making our ways towards the best parts of summer. Putting it in our pockets to keep us warm throughout the year.

I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday for another great prompt. This week’s topic is “The best part of summer vacation is/was…” And there’s still time to write yours. Link up HERE.

So, what would you say?

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14 Comments

  1. Sounded to me like the perfect summer get way. Sorry to hear they are selling it, but again your memories truly sounded epic and glad you got to experience them when you did. I am truly looking forward to another summer here as this time of the year quite frankly is the best and magical indeed!! 🙂

    1. I’m glad we have that one week left to drink in that paradise. And as Cassidy says, the magic is in our hearts and we’ll find new ways to get there.

  2. I was wondering until the end why this family scenario couldn’t keep playing out over and over again. Now I get it. I agree with Cassidy that family vacations are not relaxing. On the other hand, any vacation with a beach is great for me. I like to just stretch out and bake like a potato. I crave the sun. The best part of summer for me is not being cold. July is my favorite month, and I think we need July to be three times as long as it is.

    1. July is my favorite too because it’s my birthday and Scarlet’s birthday and we’re not cold!! I hate hate hate being cold.

  3. EEEP to tiny Scarlet! The photos of the fishing excursion are amazing – so glad you went after wondering whether you should have while banging your head on the windshield! Love the summer sand memory phrase – it’s so true, isn’t it? Family vacations/reunions are so hit or miss with having space and fun and everything – so happy you shared this definit hit of one with FTSF! I want to go there!

  4. This is beautiful, Tamara. Your pictures take me right there with you. I get overly stressed when family comes to visit us at our beach home just because I want everything to be “just so.” I find that being by the water soothes me and that magical moments flow in just like the ocean’s currents.

  5. Tamara, all those lovely photos of Scarlet, the beach horizon after sunset, the moonlit sea, and family. So beautiful and so very special. My late summer vacations in Point Pleasant with my dear Aunt and Uncle above me now, and my cousins still with me are among my most cherished family memories. Summertime meant more time for music and sports. Piano and singing lessons, and later on more singing lessons, and guitar and drum lessons, and hours and hours spent practicing. All that came first, then it was time for baseball, basketball, and youth summer league bowling. Singing a happy tune worked wonders putting me back in a good mood after losing a game.

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