Sometimes I hear that phrase to describe a beach house on The Jersey Shore, or a mansion in The Hamptons, even a penthouse apartment in New York City. While each of these places has its charm, “a cape cod feel” it does not have. Sorry New York, I love you, but nothing really compares to Cape Cod. Placing nautical-themed anything in a 6 bedroom townhouse or a kitschy sign with anchors and sea shells on the porch of a mansion in a New York beach house isn’t the same. At all. And I love me some nautical-themed anything.
I spent most of my life in California with a 2-year stint in Massachusetts, followed by more California, and finally New York.Through all the sunshine of the west and excitement of the city in the east– two things I absolutely cannot live without — Coastal Massachusetts feels much more like home and childhood than any other place. My mom grew up in a small seaside town and everything about that place, the people, and they way of life has rubbed off on me. Whoopie pies, donuts, lobster, Portuguese sweet bread, steamers, I can seriously go on. But it’s also spending 9+ hours at the beach, running away from horseflies to find solace with hermit crabs, and just feeling like I have a place.
Coming back for a family memorial service was everything it should have been. Tears mixed with laughter and drama as only my family can provide. Reconnecting with cousins, aunts, and uncles and sharing memories over lobster rolls and crab cakes is bittersweet and perfect. Rediscovering that my hard exterior which encases a gentle giant is a family trait, and not unusual, is refreshing. I am my mother, grandmother, and other who came before me. My take-charge, don’t-mess-with-me attitude has been passed down. As has my love for the nautical lifestyle. I want to be on a boat always.
I want it all. Every ray of sun in California. Every single never-ending beach day in The Cape. And all the city lights and taxis speeding everywhere. This is what I think of as “having it all.” I need it all. The beach. The coastal life. Nautical-themed rooms. Excitement of the never-sleeping city. My boyfriend likes to say I’m from wherever is convenient at the time. My heart’s been broken and each place has slowly picked up the pieces. Never relinquishing the piece of me that loves each one. I wish I’d spent my whole life in the same little house that my parents brought me home from the hospital to. But that didn’t last long. I’m not really sure where I’m from. But I know where I’m going. Well, I have three options. All I have to do is pick one. So easy.