Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 3, 2011


I'm back in Washington, after my whirlwind trip to Cape Cod.  It was a week long, but not long enough.  I saw the town through new eyes, and I realized how much I do miss it.  The lack of traffic on weekdays in the winter is pretty cool, but summertime is another story.

This is my childhood home in East Sandwich.

This rhododendron has been here since I was a little kid, but has grown into a massive tree over the last near-half century.  I've never seen one this big in my life.

Looking up the driveway from the mailbox.

The dirt road to cranberry bog across from my parents' front yard.  The train tracks are at the other end and I grew up with the peaceful sound of the trains going by and the whistles at every crossing.  When I was a child, my mom got me into the habit of watching for the little red caboose at the end, and that's a habit I've carried into my adult life.  There's also a killer breeze that kicks up every evening in the summer & cools down the house, even on the hottest, most humid day.

Looking east on Old County Road, in front of mom's house.  This area has remained completely unchanged since they moved here in 1953.  It's one of the quietest places I've ever been to.  And so dark at night that the stars stand out like diamonds.  There is no light pollution in this part of town.

This building is affectionately known by everyone as The Chicken Coop.  There are several of my friends who remember 'The Coop' very well too, and have told me that one of their fave memories of getting together with me, was us playing & listening to records in The Coop.  When my parents bought the property in 1952, it was a small farm, and this was a chicken coop.  My dad renovated it into a cool little recreational space, with a half bath and a wet bar.  If those walls could talk, they'd tell you that, in its hey day, my parents hosted parties for their friends that lasted deep into the night with the sound of raucous grownup laughter drifting into the house as I slept upstairs. When my mom was a Blue Birds and Campfire Girls leader, we had our meetings there.  I had summer sleepovers in it, as it had air conditioning and a stereo.  My cousins and I would do crafts at the picnic table, or play our records and pretend we were The Partridge Family, and eat candy aaaaaall night long when they slept over.  I may end up living here temporarily when I move back.

Mom's glass collection which I attribute to my intense and obsessive love for coloured glass too.  I used to look at the sun shining through the pretty colours and get lost in them, as I munched my cereal before going out to the bus stop.

Mom loves her glass cup plates!  

It was my job to cut the massive lawn, with a (gas powered) push mower.  Took 2.5 hours to cut.  And then I had to rake the clippings into piles, put said piles into the wheelbarrow and take them way across the yard to the compost pile.  Then I had to use the weed whacker around the brick walkway and around ALL the trees.  Needless to say, my parents taught me the value of a hard day's work.  

Dad kept all his plumbing tools, supplies and equipment in the barn.  It was always a sight to see the huge 18 wheeler trucks from Snow & Jones having to back up the driveway, avoiding the trees & rock walls, to make the deliveries of water heaters and pipes. 

Cranberry bog across from my mom's house.  This was one of the centers of my childhood world and subject to a great deal of imaginary play with my friends and cousins.  I'd dream about it at night when I was younger and I have written many of those dreams down.  I still have dreams about the bog to this day, and they are among my fave of my recurring dreams.  I played here all the time, and in the winter when it was flooded and frozen, I skated on it.  

When we were in our teens, my cousin Diane and I would walk the tracks west, towards the train bridge, and either climb up the bridge and walk back home on Old County Road, or walk the tracks all the way to almost the end of OC Road and back.  I also had quite a few coins squished by the sightseeing trains, which ran on a tight schedule, so I'd walk over about a half hour b/f the train was due, put a coin down, wait for the train and wave to the engineer and the passengers, then grab my newly flattened and very hot coin from the track.  One time in high school, Di & I built a snowman on the bog but close to, and facing, the tracks, so that the engineer would see it when he zoomed by. 

There are a ton of no-trespassing signs which I didn't shoot pics of, because they are pretty over the top and intimidating, and which threaten to shoot trespassers on sight.  However, I admit to feeling a sense of entitlement to this piece of property as I mean it no harm and I grew up playing here looooong before the current owners bought it.  Therefore, their signs clearly don't apply to me.  lol

Mom's house from the bog.

Looking west down Old County Road towards where my cousin now lives in my uncle's/her grandfather's old house, which she bought a few years ago.

I spent a lot of time in my youth wishing I was anywhere but here.  Now that I'm pushing 50, I have seriously reconsidered my position.


  1. The bog looks like so much (majickal) fun. The Coop looks like a HUGE playhouse. Awesome!!Does WA. feel a bit less like home as well?

  2. Anonymous2:07 AM

    What fun that coop looks! I bet you had the time of your life there and now you will again. Wonderful trip down memory lane with all of your photos. Makes me think of my times of my life. I'm living in my childhood home right now and the rhododendron is "original" from many years ago...they are hearty, aren't they? I keep cutting it back and it keeps growing!

  3. I always love the photos you share. I should take more scenery photos.

    A Ladybug's Life

  4. What a peaceful place to live. I would LOVE to stay somewhere with no light pollution.

  5. I just gave you the Stylish Blogger Award. Check it out from my post. Happy Tuesday!

  6. so, when i come to visit, we can make cranberry dacquiris???? the coop looks like heaven.

  7. Bryde - Oh the bog was very cool and fun. I loved playing there so much.

    Nantz - The Coop was a blast, that's for sure. Whenever I go in there my mind gets crowded with memories. It's got legendary status among my & my parents' friends. lol

    Sonnia - I would love to see more of your Bay Area scenery photos, esp. on your hikes and bike trips. Thanks for the award too! XO

    Val - It's shocking how dark it is at night. Mom keeps the barn and porch lights on after dark for a bit but once they are shut off, it's pitch black.

    Fen - That sounds GREAT! Cranberry dacqueris!! YUM!! We can sip them in the Coop. lol

  8. That place is amazing.

    It made me think of this old house I stayed at in New Bedford once. It was the most massive incredible thing I'd ever seen. The doorways and windows went all the way up to the TALL ceilings! It seriously looked like giants lived there and the woodwork was unreal.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  9. What great memories! I especially loved hearing about "The Coop" and can relate to the rules not applying to me concept when visiting places I grew up in. Pay parking fees at trailheads? No trespassing? **rolls eyes**