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Once in a Lifetime Summer

by Junie Girl 

Posted: 19 October 2003
Word Count: 715
Summary: A very special summer in Cape Cod

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The Once in a Lifetime Summer

The year was 1979. The month was June and school was out for the summer. Everyone rejoiced, including Mom who was out for the summer too. We lived then in Eastern Massachusetts. It was an almost ideal place to live, thirty-five miles from Boston and forty-nine miles from Cape Cod. We enjoyed the culture, music and history of Bean town but as those lazy, lovely days of summer beckoned our thoughts turned to Cape Cod.

Our family consisted then of Mom and Dad, three teenagers, sixteen year old Julie, fifteen year old Mark and almost thirteen year old Andy. We also had Greg Our unofficial adopted son.. At that time we were a one-car family. Fortunately for us, Greg had a car; rather a dilapidated Volkswagon, gray in color and definitely quirky. The heater in the car was the biggest problem. Indeed, the heater kept everyone warm in the winter but this one also continued to keep us warm in the summer. We called it the heater that wouldn’t quit. However, content with the fact that we had a vehicle that would move this happy band of Cape lover’s, we sat around the dining room table on a Sunday evening planning the first Mondays adventure. Agreed upon, Mom would make sandwiches, Greg would provide transportation, Mark and Greg would work out schedules for their part time jobs at Fernandes super market and Julie and Andy would abet and agree to any plans we made. Poor Dad sat in his wing back chair in the living room, sadly contemplating the office tomorrow and dreaming of his August vacation.

On that first Monday morning, the sun shone brightly. It was a glorious day! We packed the car with our basic needs, sandwiches, towels, beach ball, folding chairs, knitting and with the windows wide open, the heater pumping heat and the radio blaring that summer’s most popular tune, “Afternoon Delight” we bounced, did I mention the springs were in need of work also, our way to Wareham. We had decided that we would have coffee and donuts at the Dunkin Donuts there. Way back then, I could buy the five of us coffee and donuts for three dollars.

A few minutes later we were again in our small overheated car and crossing the bridge over the beautiful Cape Cod canal and five minutes after that we were setting up on our own favorite Sandwich Beach. Oh that lovely sea breeze, the sand dunes, the cerulean blue sea, who could ask for anything more. I would take out the sweater I was knitting at the time and prepare to knit but that scenery and the happy cries of my dear band of loved ones as they coaxed each other into the water would entice me and I would sit and ponder the magic of it all. Later, we would unpack our lunch as we debated their preference for tuna sandwiches versus minced ham. As everyone swigged iced cold bottles of coke our conversation dwindled and soon everyone was enjoying a few restful moments of bliss as we napped or just took in the wonder of our beautiful surroundings. Soon it was time for one more dip into the blue sea before we packed up our paraphernalia and were bouncing homeward. One more treat ahead, a stop at The Little Red Barn for their scrumptious ice-cream great flavors such as blueberry or strawberry cheesecake. Every mile brought us closer to home. Mom, now back in the every day world of menu planning for dinner that evening. Mark and Greg preparing themselves for the evening at Fernandes Supermarket where Mark worked in the luncheonette and Gregg in stocking the frozen food. Even happy wanderers must come back to the real world and responsibilities.

It. seemed that summer never to rain. By actual count we drove that little overheated Volkswagon to the Cape forty- nine days. We all knew it was a very special time for each one of us. We knew it would not happen again. Life would change, as always, but somewhere in our destiny or fate this precious time had been given to us. We had been blessed and .we knew it.
P.S. On Dad’s vacation we all went back to the Cape.

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Comments by other Members

dryyzz at 12:50 on 21 October 2003  Report this post

Some nice imagery, I really did get a feel for wonderful remembered summer days.

The one big problem I had, was that the narrator reffered the the family as 'our' family, then 'we' with respect to the family. The problem was (unless I missed it) I wasn't sure which member of the family was actually telling the story.

This would be easy to remedy.

I sort of didn't like the PS, we went back... it almost diminished the power of the original description.

A worthwile piece and an enjoyable read. Is this a stand alone piece or part of something larger?


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