May your 2011 be filled with all the good things in life!
Some people have a hard time sharing their stories. They need to be questioned, maybe interrogated. It’s like when a parent asks their pensive child what they did in school today and they answer with a reflexive, “Nothing.” That really means they need to be asked some more questions, a line of inquiry that becomes more specific and more pointed until there’s a satisfactory answer.
Then there are the people who can tell stories at the slightest provocation. Good stories, too. The folks who seem to have the beginning, middle, and end in mind before they open their mouths. They remember the sights, the sounds, even the smells of their deﬁning experiences. And though they remember everything to the smallest detail, they have the good sense to leave out the dull and the extraneous.
John Murphy from Land Ho! in Orleans ﬁts that second description. He is a restaurateur, an accomplished artist, a family man, and a classic raconteur. When I asked him about the origins of the restaurant’s stuffed clams, I thought he might have a story to tell. I didn’t know I’d end up hearing my favorite anecdote involving a heartfelt apology from a rowdy ﬁsherman.
Whether we convey them easily or through effort, we all have stories to tell, and in this issue you’ll ﬁnd stories from folks who live all across the Cape and Islands. You’ll ﬁnd out who they are, what they do, why they came here, and why they stay here. The excellent photography shot by Dan Cutrona and other contributors proves that the words are only part of the story. But if you want to read more, visit www.capecodlife.com for extended cuts of interviews with a few of the most interesting characters.
Also in this issue, we are fortunate to feature an essay by Jay Allison, founder of WCAI, our region’s NPR station; the producer of The Moth Radio Hour, one of the great downloadable conduits of the oral tradition; and a Woods Hole resident. Elsewhere, contributor Donna Scaglione gives us an insider’s view of the best places to eat, beaches to visit, things to do, and hidden secrets of each town. Follow the guide and visit someplace you’ve never been. Afterward, you’ll probably have a few more stories to share.
Jeff Harder, Managing Editor
When I was three, we moved to a French Norman-style brick house with leaded glass windows situated on a level bit of land halfway up a hill. The house was surrounded by mature trees and long-abandoned gardens. My mother, though pregnant with my brother, took it upon herself to bring back the formal perennial beds and rock gardens as best she could. She weeded out low rock retaining walls revealing Hens and Chicks, Candytuft, and Creeping Phlox. Read more…
“In 2010, the kitchen is the heart of every home,” says Rebecca Brown, Design Manager for Classic Kitchens and Interiors of Hyannis, the kitchen design and installation company of choice for the highly regarded Cape Cod architecture and construction firm Polhemus Savery DaSilva (PSD). The firm’s President, Peter Polhemus, says “For more than ten years we have engaged Classic Kitchens and Interiors for the majority of our projects. They are our preferred kitchen company because they provide consistently high quality design, products, installation, and service. As a firm that insists on working with consultants that share our commitment to thoughtful design and well-crafted construction, we find the relationship with Classic serves both us and our clients very well.” Read more…
It’s not that interior designer Lindsey Miller has anything against traditional baby colors. It’s just that there are so many other gorgeous shades to dip into—rich reds, burnt umbers, deep browns—that bring interiors to a new eye-pleasing level, even if the room is Baby’s.
“I’m a huge fan of color,” Miller says. “When people think of a nursery, they think it’s pink or blue, male or female. They think it has to be all baby style, toys everywhere. But it can go beyond that, while still being a baby’s room.” Miller has three big reasons to know: she is owner of Lindsey Dann Miller LLC, a design firm in Los Angeles; cofounder of Former Furniture, an online marketplace of previously owned and new designer pieces; and the mother of Max, born in June. Read more…
Before we lived on Cape Cod year-round, I wondered what it was like here in the winter-time. I used to think that after Labor Day, the Cape must be a ghost town. I imagined tumbleweeds of sea grass rolling down the empty streets of Hyannis, all the shops boarded up tight. I can remember asking a Centerville friend, “Is there any traffic at all here after Labor Day?” He looked at me with gentle frustration, having heard this question too many times before and said, “There really isn’t that much difference. There are still lots of people around.”
Of course, even though Hyannis continues to bustle all year-round and the rest of the Cape stays very busy during the “shoulder seasons,” Cape Cod’s natural world is very different in the winter time. In some ways, I like it even better then, when we walk the beaches alone, reveling in boundless expanses of sea and sky, streaked with icy silver in the low winter light. The cranberry bogs freeze sometimes and when we go skating, we can see next summer’s bushes branching beneath our feet.
During the holiday season, every town comes alive with Jolly Jaunts or Holly Days. At Centerville’s Christmas Stroll, parents and their children wait by the hour in a long line to see Santa Claus, a very merry man who gives every single child a stuffed animal. My husband and I have worked as Santa’s elves the last couple of years, putting treasures into eager hands. All along the village’s Main Street, volunteers roast sausages, serve hot chowder, make music, and spread a lot of cheer. It is always a magical time.
This issue is full of holiday enjoyment for all our readers. Find gift ideas Cape-wide, like the beautifully wrought, intricate kaleidoscopes created at Mashpee Common’s Cape Kaleidoscope, the elegant glimmering Cape Cod Christmas trees created by West Barnstable’s Pastiche of Cape Cod, or the array of new books at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. And if you’re looking to make your own gifts this Christmas, savor the sweet cranberry treat recipes cooked by Judy Shortsleeve, our publisher’s wife.
Cape Cod’s natural wonders may look different this time of year. But the people here during our winter season—in the villages, behind shop counters, holding the hands of Santa’s children—are the same. Wherever you are, over the bridge or beside us on a village street, we hope your spirit is warmed by this Cape Cod Life. All of us wish you a merry holiday season and a Happy New Year!
Best wishes,Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor, 508 419-7381, ext. 19, firstname.lastname@example.org
The small and unassuming exterior might lead one to think that the Samuel Fessenden House is just another historical home. But once inside the circa 1840 house on Main Street in Sandwich, a treasure trove of antiques and wonderful collections abound—and come Christmas, those treasures are on full display. Read more…
This well-known holiday symbol is actually one of the most diverse and intriguing members of the plant kingdom. Over the last 30 years, Cannon has managed to cultivate over 300 varieties of holly at his Brewster residence, and in the process has become known as Cape Cod’s Holly Man. Read more…
The Captain Ezra Nye house has been much more than a lovely home in its more than 180 years on Main Street in Sandwich. It has served as a dentist office, a boarding house, a law office, and a bed and breakfast over the years. Still, its essential inviting character has always endured. Last year, during the Sandwich Holly Days Home Tour, homeowners Ellen and George Park opened this historic home to let visitors experience that inviting character firsthand. Read more…
Home is a very important place during a Cape Cod and Islands winter. When the temperatures fall to freezing, the north winds howl, and the occasional snow falls, most of us long for a cozy refuge. All summer-long we have spent as much time as possible out in the elements, loving life on the beaches and the ocean. Home is a just a place we cruise through on our way outside. Then, usually sometime in late October, we wake up to the first frosty morning. We drag the lawn furniture into the garage, pull down the storm windows, dig out our sweaters, and hunker down for long days at home.
Many homeowners work especially hard during the holiday season to make their homes welcome havens for family and friends, full of comfort, festive decorations, and delicious cuisine. In this issue, we talk to two homeowners whose homes are show places during the holiday season. One homeowner uses everything she has to make her house a holiday wonderland, from a prized collection of antique blown glass to primitive antiques and folk art. Another turned to local interior decorators and shop owners to help her transform a historic home into a must-see on last year’s Sandwich Holly Days tour. For great ideas for your holiday decorating, be sure to take in this year’s Holly Days tour and others like it highlighted in this issue’s Fieldtrips.
Winter in the kitchen is such an emotionally evocative time, with favorite recipes taking center stage for eagerly anticipated celebrations like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day. On the Cape and Islands, seafood is often the star of holiday meals, whether its clam chowder for busy family members on Christmas Eve or oysters and champagne for a special soiree with close friends on New Years Eve. In our Cape Kitchen section, we share a cherished recipe straight from Cape Cod for superb stuffed quahogs that will fill you up and keep you warm.
If you do need some invigorating time outdoors, don’t miss our story on Brewster’s holly man, Bill Cannon, who has transformed a one-acre Route 6A backyard into a holly fairyland. More than 300 varieties of holly are a botanical delight here, colorful berries in a rainbow of colors and bright foliage gleaming along winding paths, even on the darkest of winter days.
All of us at Cape Cod HOME wish you the happiest of holidays and a promising new year. And we hope this issue helps make your house even more of a home.
Associate Publisher & Editor, email@example.com