By the sea, by the sea
When I was a little girl, we lived on a long street that ran alongside the Mount Hope Bay. The street was about a mile long and ended in a marsh. On either side, there were lots of houses, many built in the shingle-style that is still a favorite in New England’s coastal communities. It wasn’t a beachside cottage community really, but the houses were close together and as children, we ran barefoot from house to house all summer long. Everyone knew your name, your family, and what kind of sandwich you preferred for lunch.
The days were long and filled with sailing, with impromptu picnics on the beach, with endless adventures like trying to catch shrimp with a string and safety pin from Mr. Borden’s beach (Yes, he was related to the famous Lizzie B.) No one ever locked their doors and at night, you fell asleep to the sound of the waves on the beach and the voices of your parents and neighbors sharing cocktails, meals, and no doubt, hot gossip.
Living by the water is always splendid, whether you are lucky enough to live in a magnificent Chatham Cape like the one featured in our “Paradise Found” story on https://capecodlife.com/home/paradise-found/, or in the exciting new beachside cottage community in Dennisport called Heritage Sands that we spotlight on page https://capecodlife.com/home/classic-chic-cottage/
There just is something unforgettable about having the ocean, the bay, or the river for your front yard. It is partly the ever-changing beauty that flows by, shaping your life daily—and it is also the sheer fun of living, dining, playing—and yes, sleeping—with a boundless natural resource just outside your front door.
You will notice that I said “front” door. If you are lucky enough to live by the water, you know that the front door ALWAYS faces the water. Street side entrances—often so grand in communities without water views—are often insignificant in homes by the water. Perhaps that is why really special houses by the sea always showcase the world outside. It is not about the walls around you; life ebbs and flows to the rhythm of the water beyond your door.
My brother still lives in our old shingle house beside the Mount Hope Bay. His son and daughter love the house, too. And all along our Seaview Avenue, there are probably still people who can tell you what sandwich I once loved on long summer days.
Happy summer by the sea,
Susan Dewey, Cape Cod HOME & Cape Cod ART Editor
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