Seasonal Traditions / My first love

Friday, September 3, 2010

I started to write a post about Fall Traditions, but I realized that I couldn’t do that without writing about summer traditions. The oldest in my family are those centered around Cape Cod.

I suppose this post could start with summer traditions: every summer my family and I go to Cape Cod. I once called it the “liminal land of my youth” which I suppose is a bit pretentious, but I loved how it sounded, the repeated “l”s in the words words like waves breaking on soft ground.

And every summer on Cape Cod we go to “my” beach, even though by now my parents live three towns over. And every summer, since I was 5, I’ve eaten lunch at the shack at the top of that beach. When I was little I ordered the foot long hot-dog, and was allowed to get a can of Root Beer from the soda machine. At 7, I had my first raw oyster there. With my boyfriend-fiancee-husband I whiled away many an afternoon, drinking Pete's Summer Ales, picking at the best lobster roll I’ve ever had (still). For more than 30 years I’ve happily eaten the clam chowder at this shack, on that beach. It’s the best clam chowder I’ve had at any beach shack, maybe the best New England style clam chowder I’ve ever had.

Of course, the view doesn’t hurt, either. Nor does the fact that this is now my little boy’s favorite beach, too, and his favorite "hot dog store", open rain or shine, nor’easter or heat wave, all year long.

Lobster on my parents’ deck, soft serve at Mac’s, kayaking, watching kites, boat rides, the galleries in Wellfleet, seals, whales.

That’s my summer.

And we’ve added to it, since moving to California, the drive north around the 4th of July (this year, the Sonoma Coast); since J was born: a trip or two to Tilden; and the past two years, with “The Burger Project”.

But nothing is as sweet as that first afternoon at “my” beach, eating oysters, watching the waves.

No comments: