A recent family gathering culminated in a discussion prompted by my announcement that the time may have come to sell our house on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod. This suggestion was met with a mix of emotions, ranging from regret that a central feature of our family’s heritage was being lost, to disappointment that a sound investment was being abandoned. I was impressed by the poignancy with which each member spoke of what those Cape vacations through the years had meant to him or her.
My family has been enjoying the unique experience of Cape Cod vacations since the early ‘60s, when life-long college friends first shared their summer rental with us. Shortly after this enticement, we purchased our own house in Chatham, and the love affair which led us to our present dilemma began.
Each of my children highlighted a different aspect of this infatuation, whether it was the daily delight of a diet of fresh fish and lobster, the starlit sky at night, undiminished by the glow of city lights, the gentle afternoon breezes signaling the changing tides of the North Atlantic, the afternoon parade of the village’s returning fishing fleet up the channel to the Fish Pier, or night baseball with the Chatham A’s. Never to be forgotten were the intermissions during evening theatre performances, the crowd a sea of tanned faces and bodies bedecked in the casual uniform of summer frocks and chino slacks. Their touching remembrances were endless.
After much debate and having reached no final decision, the situation remains the same. Circumstances will eventually resolve the issue for us. But in dealing with the distress that precedes all difficult decisions, I’m reminded of the words of Cape Cod’s favorite son, President John F. Kennedy, who reminded us that:
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”