At the beginning of October Jeff’s parents came out and took us to Cape Cod for the weekend. I’ve always wondered what the big deal is with Cape Cod. Well, now I know. It is perfection. Quaint and quiet and breath taking at every turn. Especially in October when the beach is stark and empty and full of things to explore. We all stayed in this little tiny cottage for two nights and in my opinion, it couldn’t have been more perfect. We spent some good time indoors since it was a bit nippy. Grandpa showed the kids all kinds of quirky videos on his computer and helped Charlie build things with legos. Even Emmeline was enamored by the sometimes funny, sometimes educational clips they watched. I love this photo of her and Grandpa. Grandma brought all kinds of puzzles and activities for the kids to do. Hazel was in craft heaven. We also spent a LOT of time outside exploring the beach. I can’t decide when I like the beach best….I love those hot crowded summer days when you can cool off in that icy salt water….but I think my favorite are the windy cold days where you’re bundled and you walk and run and explore. The beach is empty and you feel alive.
We even went on a little family adventure to see the beach at night. I was inspired by Henry Beston’s chapter in the Outermost House on the beach at night. The beach at night was magical. Quiet and brilliant in the starlight. And too cold to stay out for too long.
The kids never get enough of finding sea treasures. The rocks on this beach were so perfect and round and addicting to collect. I love these pictures of Hazel and Emmeline. Hazel is the sweetest big sister I could ever dream up. She is always kind and patient with Emmeline and in return Emmeline is Hazel’s biggest fan. Oh, it makes me happy. There’s nothing like a good sister-friend. I simply can’t get over how much I LOVE it that Emmeline always has that little tear suspended on her cheek. She’s a passionate little girl and mostly happy….but when she swings through those few seconds of sad she always produces a tear and those big chubby cheeks are just a perfect place for that tear to sit until it gets wiped off.
Emmeline loved the beach more than she has before. She’s at the age where she’s really discovering things. She loved running around with Grandma Shumway and carrying her little bucket. Hazel found two stranded starfish which she carefully nursed back to health before putting them back in the sea. One of them had only four rays and she named him “Spiky Quarto.” When she beckoned Grandma and Grandpa out to see him she warned them first, “Don’t worry, it’s not disgusting, it’s actually quite amazing!” I love it how un-squeamish Hazel is…..she’s so into animals and dissecting. Maybe she’ll be a scientist one day. The thing I probably loved best about the weekend was watching as Hazel, Charlie and Emmeline fell in love all over again with their grandparents. I’m so happy that they have Grandma and Grandpa Shumway to look up to, to learn from and to feel loved by. They really love those two. I just wish we lived a bit closer.
I love these pictures that Hazel and Jeff took of me with the people I love best in the world. There is just something about seeing yourself in pictures with your kids.
And, to end with, I’ve been wanting to post my new favorite poem about the sea for quite a while. This seems like a good place to do it. A friend of mine recited this poem to me while at the beach this summer and Hazel and I promptly committed it to memory. It’s a great one to have rumbling in your head when you’re at the beach.
maggie and milly and molly and may
maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
Thanks again and again and again Grandma and Grandpa Shumway for such a perfect weekend away.