Home for all Seasons

Cape Cod Life  /  June 2022 /

Writer: Susan Dewey

A debut book traces an author’s journey to self-awareness shaped by 50 years of Craigville summers in her family’s Cape Cod cottage.   With honesty, candid introspection, and humor, author Sally Buffington captures the life-long influence of summers spent in a treasured family homestead in, A Place Like This: Finding Myself In A Cape Cod Cottage. In 1968, Sally, who grew up in the Cape towns of Eastham and Brewster, married Andy Buffington, whose boisterous family spent every summer at Craigville, a vintage seaside community that is part of the village of Centerville. On a wooded knoll surrounded by scenic ponds and marshland with panoramic views of Nantucket Sound, the Craigville community is celebrating its 150th birthday this summer (for information, visit craigville.org.) This tiny village of charming, cheek-by-jowl, gingerbread and New England farmhouses with porches on every corner, has long been known as a place that keeps to itself. Craigville was initially the 1870s’ location of the Christian Camp Meeting Association where religious retreats were held in a tent community, on the former site of a 160-acre farm. By the mid-1870s, more than 30 cottages had been built around two hotels, a boarding house, and a large Tabernacle, which still stands today and has been the site of Buffington family weddings. For Sally, an only child in what she describes as a “subdued and low-key family,” and an accomplished flutist who attended the New England Conservatory of Music, marrying into the clannish, yet outspoken and energetic Buffington family was sometimes overwhelming. Ruled by a mostly benevolent, yet powerful “Mom,” summers at Craigville were an immersion in the insider culture of old-fashioned New England families.  And yet, from the start, this imaginative, aware musician and eventual writer and photographer, knew that the influence of this place would nourish and endure all three generations that loved the cottage…

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Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, former associate publisher and editor at Cape Cod Life Publications, lives in Centerville where she grows vegetables and flowers for Cape farmers' markets, designs perennial gardens for her son’s company, Dewey Gardens, and enjoys living on beautiful Cape Cod year round.