I grew up summering at my grandparents’ house on Cape Cod. Every summer, the day after school let out, my mother, brother, and I headed down for the summer. My dad would come down on weekends and days off from work. It was idyllic.

We went every summer that I can remember from the time I was 3 until I went to college.

So many memories here. Feels like a lifetime of them really.

My grandfather convalesced and passed away in this house. I got ready for my wedding in this house.

It’s been about 10 years since I have been down to see what the place looks like. It was sold shortly after my wedding when my grandmother had to move up to where we live, closer to my mom.

This past week I was down the Cape with my friend and we did a drive by of the house. I wasn’t sure what I expected.

The people that own it now were not home, so I decided to do a little sneaking and snap some shots.


The view from the house looking out onto the lake is the same (minus the green dock and sailboat that were always out there).


The bluestone before the beach has been replaced with slate and a picnic table. Where there used to be mulch and pine needles there is now grass. It looks OK but grass just seems odd to me after 30+ years of mulch and pine needles.


My grandfather spent hours, days, weeks, months, and years, cultivating flowers and his rosebushes in the front yard. Some of what he had there is still there, much of it is new, and honestly bigger and lush.


The driveway that we used to whiz down on our bikes, and skates, and bare feet is a little worn, the house has been sided, instead of the traditional cape cod shingles that my grandfather had painted green. Gosh I remember him going around the house, year after year, painting a new side of the house.


The small beach was pretty much the same but not as tended to. My grandfather used to clear the beach of pine needles, and even bring in sand each year both for the beach and to put in the first 15 feet of the water so that it was nice for all the kids to walk on. The sand was always clear. Now it’s just a bit more dusty than sandy.

See that brown railroad tie on the right on the beach? My grandfather built the wall behind it. I have a photo of me when I was 9 or 10 sitting on that wall with my feet on the railroad tie, looking peaceful in a way that only a 9 or 10 year old who spends all her time on the beach can look.

I am happy I finally went by the place, happy I could see it again, refresh all the memories that I have. Somehow it felt like good closure after many years. But something inside me was sad when I left. I cried a bit at the bittersweet nostalgia of it all. I wish somehow I could go back and appreciate it all more, every moment of amazing summers, with family. Carefree. Driving away I missed my grandparents, I miss endless summers of this place.

I was so lucky to have these summers, to have this place. I am so lucky to have the life I do.

One thought on “Bittersweet Memories

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