Thursday, November 1, 2007

Leaving Cape Cod

Hi. I'm Little Miss Sunshine State. My very first Blogger post is about leaving Cape Cod.

Whenever someone hears that Mr Sunshine State and I lived on Cape Cod for 27 years, they have the same reaction. They frown, tilt their heads and say "And you LEFT? To move to FLORIDA!!!?". I'm always left feeling like I have to explain why we left a place that people have fond memories of visiting.

We moved to our little house in the woods when Cape Cod was still pretty much like our parents remembered it. Beautiful beaches, quaint shops and quiet roads for 9 months of the year. We lived with the tourists from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Then we stood on the overpasses of the Mid-Cape Highway and waved goodbye and held signs that read "Last one over the bridge, turn off the lights. See you next summer." By the time we left in 2006, it was tourist season year-round. Many of the quaint family places had closed down and fast-food restaurants and big stores had taken their place.

We had to leave for the beach at the crack of dawn to get a parking spot. We couldn't afford the ticket price at the Melody Tent anymore. It took me over half an hour to drive 14 miles to work because of the traffic. The most affordable dock for our boat was 40 minutes off-Cape.

Cape Cod is a beautiful place to visit, but the most beautiful places, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown were an hour away and I was lucky to get there twice a year, on a weekday when the traffic was lighter.
Cape Cod was a wonderful place to raise a family. The beach and good school systems were a reason to stay until they were out of high school. But the Cape was a hard place for us to live, in many ways. Mr SS drove an hour each way to work off-Cape for almost 20 years. New England winters are brutal in the car business. I have had health issues for most of my adult life and my physical and mental health require being warm and seeing blue skies on a regular basis.
Another reason to move here was one Mother who is a full-time resident of Florida and another who is a snow-bird.

So, here we are, in the Sunshine State (although it isn't living up to it's name this week).
Sandals and shorts every day after work. Watching the space shuttles go up from our sidewalk.
No coyotes staring me down in the parking lot after work. The Electric bill is half of what it was up north. The only ice I have to deal with is in my Diet Pepsi. The azaleas bloom in October.
The air is really clean.

Do I miss Cape Cod? Mostly my #1 child who decided to stay there. Clams. Making chowder just isn't the same when they come from a can. Dunkin Donuts. Every 2 miles. Every day. Krispy Kreme is NOT a reasonable substitute. And the feeling you get when you have been away and you drive over the bridge and see the Cape Cod Canal stretching out in a ribbon in both directions as far as the eye can see.


blackbird said...

did I already comment?
I'm still moving to Wellfleet!

Loretta said...

Congratulations on taking the plunge!I am honored that I helped inspire you to start blogging.

I certainly understand needing to move for various reasons, not the least of which are health and commuting burn out.

You can still enjoy the Cape as a visitor, esp since your child is still there.

It is still a fantasy for me, one I intend to accomplish....someday!