Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I had a weekend that can only be described with the "cheesiest" of adjectives. I flew to Boston on Friday morning and took the bus to Hyannis, to be met by my dear friend Norma Simon.


She has lived on the Cape for 40 years, and knows and loves this part of the world. She has been a special part of my family's history and knew me since I was a child, but this was our first real "grown up" time together.


Recently, her beloved husband passed away. They were an amazing pair, so in love and so adventurous. It was my first visit to their house since he passed, but he is still so much a part of that home. Trent and I visited a couple summers ago, and they had such wonderful discussions about all their hobbies and crafts they shared interest in.

I stayed in the main house, which is filled with treasures. So much art, history, and family. I was looking forward to an escape and a time to recover from my orals, but it was so much more than just a relaxing weekend. It was a game changer, honestly.

Downtown Wellfleet. This is an old Masonic building. I learned so much about New England history, geography, ecology, everything!

My guide/instructor. She was amazing in so many ways. And hard to keep up with!

Wellfleet harbor where they have a boat. This town is too amazing to describe, it is like being in a Hopper painting. And yes, I learned about him there.


We had all sorts of adventures and outings, but the best part was the conversation. At every meal and at every opportunity we talked. Nearly 40 years separate us, but we had conversations about everything, love and relationships, parents and children, politics and government, history, pop culture, my family, her family, death and dying. Everything. And as friends. It was an indescribable joy.


Luckily the weather was terrific, and we had most of our meals out on the screened in porch.


The amazing view from a friend's house. Cape Cod has such interesting ecology!


She taught me how to collect mussels! You go out when the tide is low, rack up big clumps of gorgeous bivalves and pick which ones you want for dinner. And leave the rest. We collected a big bucket full.

Rinsing dinner. This woman is 81 years old. It was remarkable.


The mussels just grow on the bottom of the bay like this. I was blown away. Unfortunately, immediately after we collected and distributed our jewels to friends, we heard about a red algae bloom that raised toxicity levels in blue mussels only. Norma called around and verified. Bummer. But we went out for Thai food instead, and got mussels from Prince Edward Island for dinner the next night. Delicious.


I had lots of walks and runs on this gorgeous beach. Lots of thinking and reflecting on all our conversations. I do my best thinking on the beach!

Just gorgeous. I couldn't have asked for better weather. I left Sunday afternoon and Trent picked me up from the airport that evening. I know it sounds cheesy, but this weekend has changed my perspective and I cannot begin to explain it. I learned so much about my family, about myself, and about life and love. It was nearest to talking to your future self I've ever experienced. I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Norma Simon is my neighbor. She is as nice a woman as you've described. I recall when she and her husband Ed and their two children Wendy and John moved here from Connecticut when they purchased their house from the McCarthy’s who also owned the house across from the Simons’ and another up on the back shore. Though much has changed since then, Norma Simon has not. And that’s a real good thing for us in Wellfleet.

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