From Our Home to Yours

From Our Home to Yours

In this issue, we share a treasure chest of resources for coastal living that will help any Cape or Islands homeowner create that perfect seaside abode, whether you live in a small cottage on a sandy byway, or in a grand home with the ocean as your front yard.

Our staff had fun this year coming up with an alphabet of A to Z resources—everything from the latest in architectural designs to a great place to find mattresses for easy zzzzzz’s; from bathroom creations to weathervane wonders. All alliteration aside, we think you’ll enjoy hearing the straight scoop from the people who own and work in some of our region’s best businesses.

Since this is also our first issue of 2014, I would like to take a moment to thank Cape Cod LIFE’s terrific staff, who have given endless hours of time and creativity for Cape Cod HOME all year long. In every department, we have a hard-working crew of talented, caring people who always go the extra mile to make this magazine a keeper for our readers from coast to coast.

Our staff’s dedication to making this magazine a success—the sometimes crazy press days, the late nights working to get a layout just right, the warm summer days when the whole world is vacationing on the beach and we are working inside on magazines about autumn and winter—are what have made this magazine a keeper for decades.

I hope you will join me in wishing a very Happy New Year to our staff—and to a legion of freelance writers and photographers out there who are also a huge part of Cape Cod HOME, Cape Cod LIFE, and Cape Cod ART. 2014 promises to be even better—especially since Cape Cod LIFE Publications will be celebrating its 35th year of riding the crest of the wave.

Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2014!

Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor

Sweet Harvests

In the warmer months on Cape Cod, when I am not at work writing for you, I am in my garden.

In the warmer months on Cape Cod, when I am not at work writing for you, I am in my garden. Read more…

Seaside Inspired

We finish up 2013 with several HOME Winter stories where inspiration is combined with talent....

A woman in Osterville who transforms her small, antiquated kitchen into the ultimate gathering place for her grandchildren. A struggling young family whose new home is built in Orleans in just five days—for free—by more than 100 Habitat Cape Cod and Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod volunteers. A homeowner in Cummaquid who gets the chance of a lifetime to work side by side with a custom home builder to build the elegant house of her dreams.

Seaside Inspired

We finish up 2013 with several HOME Winter stories where individual inspiration is combined with the talents of Cape Cod’s architects, builders, interior decorators, landscapers, and artisans creating homes and interiors with distinctive made-on-Cape-Cod appeal.

The Cape has always been a place where people come together to make life better, sharing skills, valuable experience, and an understanding of and appreciation for the beauty—and the fragility—of our coastal environment.

In this issue we also profile several Cape and Islands residents who are adding a special sparkle to the holiday season this year, from the owners of Cape tea shops where you can enjoy tea and homemade delicacies on cold winter days, to a talented scrimshaw artist on Nantucket creating beautiful ornaments celebrating ‘The 12 days of Christmas.’

‘There is something for every lover of Cape Cod and the Islands in this issue of Cape Cod HOME. We think it is a fitting tribute to our inspirational seaside region’s colorful diversity and deep coast-to-coast resources.

All of us at Cape Cod HOME wish you the merriest of holiday seasons!


Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor

Natural Beauty Comparable to the National Seashore

The panoramic majesty of the marsh on either side of Scorton Creek is mesmerizing.

This is my first note to you since Judy, Josh, Max and I moved to East Sandwich in September. In all of my years on Cape Cod, I have always lived in the Nantucket Sound, Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay coastal villages. I have loved it but I have rarely gotten beyond the west end of the Cape Cod Canal, when I have been boating.

Natural Beauty Comparable to the National Seashore

Now, I am very close to the east end of the Canal. Since in 2014 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Canal, I figured I owed it to Cape Cod LIFE readers to move closer to the Canal. And since Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod, is celebrating in 2014 the 375th anniversary of its incorporation as a town, I thought it best if I moved to Sandwich.

The house fronts on Scorton Creek. This is a tidal creek which winds its way for miles, from north of Route 6A out to Cape Cod Bay. My writing table is upstairs and I can see over Cape Cod Bay, past the east end of the canal to the shore of White Cliffs in South Plymouth. Now I can reach all of our harbor villages fronting on Cape Cod Bay by small boat from right behind my house. I may never go to work again. Wait a minute, what am I talking about? This is my work!

The panoramic majesty of the marsh on either side of Scorton Creek is mesmerizing.  Looking due west from the house, the marsh is about one mile from side to side.  The tidal creek has carved its way, snaking east, then west, then east, going for more than five miles to where it joins the Great Marshes just west of Barnstable Harbor. Barnstable Harbor is bordered on the north by Sandy Neck; this scene is captured by photographer, Nancy Welch, on the front cover of the Cape Cod LIFE 2014 Seascapes Calendar mailed to subscribers with this issue. If you don’t have our 2014 calendar, or want an extra one, see ordering information below. But I guess I digress.

Have I mentioned in the past that I am fascinated by the changing tides? On the Buzzards Bay coast, the average difference between high and low tide is approximately five feet. At the east end of the Cape Cod Canal, past Barnstable Harbor and out to Wellfleet and Provincetown, the average tidal difference runs nine to ten feet. The result in Scorton Creek is a surging tidal current with the power to carve the shape of the creek throughout the length of the marsh. The New Moon and Full Moon tides are noticeably more significant. In general, I have a pretty good understanding of where we are in the monthly phases of the moon just by observing the tide.

For me, the waves constantly rolling in as sea swells through the bay until they land on the beach, signify the pulse of the earth. The tidal tributaries form arteries feeding the sea to the great marsh, and the marsh feeds the world in it and around it.  Each blade of marsh grass stands tall and rich green on the first day of summer. As summer melds into autumn, each blade of marsh grass is dyed golden, starting at the top and each day draining down the stem in direct proportion to the dwindling hours of daylight.  The lowering sun warms and weaves the greens and yellows in a glowing patchwork quilt.

This time of year I always think of my favorite line written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “How well I know what I mean to do, when the long dark autumn evenings come.” I feel energized.

I need my energy at this time, as does the whole Cape Cod LIFE staff; we are gearing up for celebrating Cape Cod LIFE’s 35th anniversary in 2014.  Stay tuned.

My Best,


Brian Shortsleeve, President and Publisher

A Roundabout Welcome

My first 3 months working on Cape Cod, and for Cape Cod LIFE...

My first three months working on the Cape, and for Cape Cod LIFE, have been a blast. I’ve met a lot of interesting people (Charlie Tilton, Nan Stone), learned of several unique attractions (gurgle pots, a nudist campground), and had lunch at Panera approximately 28 times. Remember that number. Learning a new job and a new area, and commuting here from Quincy, and now Plymouth, the last 90 days has been quite the whirlwind for me. And, as a newcomer to the Cape, I’ve taken a few lumps.

Matt Gill

One day in late August, for example, my sister invited me to visit her family at their vacation cottage in Dennisport. I printed out directions at the office, jumped in my car, and headed for the rotary near Mashpee Commons. Mapquest told me to turn onto Route 28 North to begin my journey. But, doesn’t ’28 North’ go to Falmouth, I thought, and wouldn’t ‘north,’ in general, bring me to Sagamore? I knew that my destination, Dennis, was basically to the east, but alas, there was no 28 East. I was confused.

I circled the rotary a few times, checking and rechecking signs. It is a busy spot, and it was rush hour. I heard some beeps. I’ve seen the map, and as I circled, I reflected in a roundabout way that if Chatham is the Cape’s elbow and Provincetown the fist, Dennis must be somewhere by the beefy biceps. After some hesitation and with some trepidation, I took the exit for Route 28 South, and muddled along for a mile or two.

Then I immediately began second-guessing the road signs, and myself. Falmouth is to the south, I thought, so why would 28N bring me there? To reach Dennis, in the east, I need to take 28S? Huh? I turned around.

Soon I found myself back at Mashpee Commons, circling the rotary, and feeling I had been there before. Pulling over, I clicked on the compass app on my iPhone. It confirmed I was indeed on Cape Cod, but it didn’t offer much more. Frustrated, I gathered myself, took a deep breath, and against my gut, headed northeast again aboard 28 South. I passed through the villiage of Osterville for the third time in the last 30 minutes.

Eventually, after battling through some traffic and road construction, and an upset equilibrium, I arrived at the cottage in Dennis with some drinks and limes, and a slightly sour disposition. I was an hour late. My explanation? I could offer only shrugged shoulders and headshakes. My niece and nephew cheered me some, with a bike and scooter tour of the complex, and hot dogs for dinner finished the job. I sat back in a lawn chair, and took a few minutes to reflect on my journey, and look back.

I had to look pretty far, too, because my first assignment was to write about 1938, and the great New England Hurricane. September 21st of this year marked the 75th anniversary of the hurricane, which is considered the most devastating to strike this region in modern times. The storm took the lives of nearly 700 people in Long Island, N.Y. and New England, and caused hundreds of millions in damage to homes, businesses, boats, trees, and more.

To learn more, I spoke with Blue Hill Observatory Executive Director Charles Orloff, a Yarmouth resident. I also interviewed ten Cape and Islands residents—all 82 or older—who lived through the storm, and shared with me their memories. Take a look at the article on page 30, and let me know what you think. And if you happen to see a driver circling the rotary in Mashpee in a small, yet stylish silver Hyundai Accent, bearing an upside-down, east-means-west expression, remember me, and hold your beep. I’ll get there. . . eventually.

Matt Gill

Matthew J. Gill, Managing Editor

The Staff is the Life of Cape Cod LIFE

Most of us spend more time at work than we do in any other part of our daily lives. Read more…

How Well Do You Know the Cape and Islands

Can you tell me where on Cape Cod, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard you might find this beach? Read more…

Coastal Calling

A few years ago, I interviewed a woman from Yarmouth whose family has lived on Cape Cod since the 1600s for a story in one of our magazines. Read more…

Today is Josh’s Birthday

Due to lead times in magazine publishing, I am writing this on May 18th for the July issue. I get in trouble with Jeff Harder, our managing editor, if I don’t turn in my column on time. Jeff gave me a deadline of Monday, May 21st. This works well for me because I prefer to write on weekends. Plus, I learned a few days ago that Jeff was spending the weekend in the Azores with his wife, Siobhan, and would not be back in the office until Tuesday. So, he will never know if I made the Monday deadline as long as I have it on his desk by Tuesday morning.

Josh was born on May 18,1994, at Falmouth Hospital, the first member of our Shortsleeve family to be born on Cape Cod. So, he turns 19 today. He is a little older than many of his classmates graduating from Bourne High School in two weeks.

Judy and I had him repeat a year when we did not feel that he was ready for first grade. Josh has often reminded me that he would be further along in this or that, if we had not kept him back. At that point I always remind Josh that we would not have done so if he had been working to his potential while in kindergarten.

Actually, it has worked out: Josh has done well in school. Just this past school year, Josh participated in a dual-enrollment program at Cape Cod Community College; he earned credit for his senior year of high school and, also, almost all of his first year of college. Sean Burke, Josh’s guidance counselor at Bourne High School, recommended this program for Josh. We are all very lucky to have Sean Burke guiding the students of Bourne High.

For some time now, Josh has been saying that he wants to pursue a career in business. I keep reminding him that business is not all “executive lunches.” But Judy and I encouraged Josh, since he had the opportunity, to take classes at the college including “Accounting 101.” I just wanted Josh to first learn the basic language of business. He plans to major in business at a college located within reasonable walking distance of good surfing, and he has already been accepted to a few.

I suggested to Josh that in lieu of the cost of education that he consider working in business for one year to get a better idea of what aspect of business he would like to pursue and study. Then he could come out of college prepared to work at something that he knows is important to him. He said, “Fine, Dad, why don’t I go to the Bahamas for one year and work as a surfing instructor?” Judy and I replied that since he feels he would like to pursue “sales and marketing” that perhaps some work with that particular focus might be a more worthwhile experience.

Today is Josh's Birthday

He and I are talking about Cape Cod LIFE and some sales and marketing projects that I have in mind. We will see. I think Josh would do well in sales. Ever since he was very young, he has always related well to adults. Several years ago, when Josh was maybe 13, a friend of mine on Cuttyhunk said of Josh: “How many kids his age can walk up to an adult, look them in the eye, shake their hand, and ask ‘How was your winter?’ and mean it? And then carry on a conversation?”

I always give Judy flowers on both Josh and Max’s birthdays. Josh took the photo above.

My best,


Brian Shortsleeve, President and Publisher

P.S. I won’t know until the end of the summer for sure what Josh wants to do. For this summer, on the island of Cuttyhunk, he has his own summer rental and work, all within reasonable walking distance of good surfing.

Beyond the Frame

Art is all about making connections; the artist to their subject, the viewer to the artist’s work. I was thinking about this as we worked on this issue profiling dozens of painters, sculptors, and photographers—all with Cape and Islands ties that have defined their talent somehow.

For some—like Sarah Hinckley, an abstract painter with 13th-generation Cape Cod roots who lives and works in New York—memories of childhood Cape summers are an inspirational oasis that she revisits during long hours in her Manhattan studio. “It’s kind of like Chapin Beach—the tide goes out, but it comes back in and covers everything and it’s beautiful. You can see that in my paintings,” she says.

For others, like Yingzhao Liu and Duoling Huang—both Chinese artists who emigrated to the U.S. in search of freedom—Cape Cod is an artistic refuge. After driving 20 hours from Los Angeles, Liu was so inspired by the Cape’s beauty that in 2012 he opened a gallery in Brewster, which showcases this international artist’s fi ne paintings as well as the work of other Chinese artists.

These connections even run through the staff of Cape Cod Life Publications to some of the artists we share with you here. Jennifer Dow, the gifted art director of Cape Cod ART, was a student in our featured artist, and Barnstable High School Art Director, Carl Lopes’s classes. It was quite an experience for Jen to be using her artistic talents to design her admired former teacher’s pages.

As Cape Cod ART’s editor, this annual issue is one of 15 issues released by Cape Cod Life Publications, including Cape Cod LIFE and Cape Cod HOME, that I have the pleasure of working on every year. As a writer and a lover of art, the stories—and the connections to the people in this issue—stay with me long after the magazine is printed and in the hands of readers around the country.

In the end, Cape Cod ART is all about this special place that we are lucky enough to live or work in. Whether it’s the light, the beaches, the ocean, or a safe harbor from the rest of the world, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket seem to provide us all with a limitless canvas for making life better—and ever more beautiful.


Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor

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