2020 Life Logs, Day 291: Phenomenal Fall Day
Date: Sunday, October 18, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful; High 60, Low 44 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

From start to finish, today was an absolutely phenomenal fall day. The weather was perfect with full sun shining all day. Sam, Jonah, Shadow and I got up at 7 am in order to get Sam off for a morning rowing regatta and Jonah off for his first soccer game since last fall. When the boys woke up, they called for Shadow and he gleefully jumped into bed with them for a bit of an early morning frolic. It is amazing how much boys and rambunctious puppies are alike! Heather picked Sam up and Jed picked up Jonah. That left Ollie and I to have a relaxed morning together. We watched a couple of episodes of The Axel Show and then Ollie decided he would like to go see Sam’s regatta. By the time we got on the road, I got a text from Heather saying that they were wrapping up due to the increased winds. Ollie still wanted to do something special, so we drove to the nearest beach from where we were when we got the text from Heather. We actually ended up at a beach a couple of miles from the one we thought we were going to, but it was a great choice. In the summer it is a ‘residents only’ beach, but this time of year there is no one to check. And there were no signs saying dogs had to be kept on a leash. Ollie used the ChuckIt to throw tennis balls as far as he could and Shadow chased ball after ball. Sam had called as he and Heather were headed home from the regatta and asked where we were. I told him and he said they were going to head that way. Heather dropped Sam off and drove on to get back to Falmouth to be with Jonah as Jed had another commitment. So then Sam and Ollie ran and threw tennis balls for Shadow. Then Sam decided that he just had to get into the water, so he dove in. We didn’t even have a towel, but I assured him we would find a way to protect the car seat and keep him warm on the drive home. He romped in the water like a puppy. Since the air temperature and the water temperature were almost the same, he said the cool water was not so much of a shock. After his little swim, he headed to the car and Ollie continued building a little sandcastle using the ChuckIt as a shovel. A couple walked by and asked if we would like them to take a photo of us. The man offered to take the photo but he didn’t have on a mask. So he ducked his head inside his sweatshirt as I handed the camera to him. He said he thought we were having a special moment that should be recorded and I couldn’t have agreed more. When we got home, we found out Jonah’s soccer team had won their game and that he had scored one of the goals. He has just been with this team for two weeks, so he was over the moon with his success. Just this much would have been a great day. But on we went.

Heather had seen photos of Falmouth folks hand harvesting cranberries in a community bog that is totally natural and organic. She found out the location and after lunch we headed there. Since she had seen the photos last weekend, she assumed there would be slim pickens, but that was not the case. When we walked into the bog, all we could see was a natural field with cranberry plants covering the ground, sharing the territory with tall grasses, briers, and other weeds. But when Sam bent down to take a closer look, he squealed with joy. Yes, a thirteen year-old can still squeal with joy. How wonderful. Hidden beneath the matted green plants there was an abundance of deep red cranberries. At one point, Heather heard me say, “This is so much fun.” She called over to ask if I was being facetious. It did sound that way, but I was serious. Just like the boys, I was really enjoying harvesting cranberries by hand. For all of my years here on the Cape, the boys and I have watched the commercial fields harvested by being flooded with water and then big machines brought in to reap the harvest. Somehow picking them by hand seemed so simple and so right. I really was having fun and Shadow was having a great time running through the bog and eating cranberries.

But wait. We still were not finished. Next on the list was the annual trip to Tony Andrews farm to pick pumpkins from the field. I had to leave Shadow in the car for this activity, but the Goldpebbles each got a little red wagon and went running through the pumpkin patch looking for just the right pumpkin to carve. Sam, who usually doesn’t want to pose for a photograph, decided that today was the day for family photos. So I got one in the cranberry bog and another in the pumpkin patch.

It was just a perfect day and at some point when I was talking to Sam about the water temperature at this time of year, I realized that on October 18, 2005, Mark and I sailed out of Boston Harbor to begin our travels around the world. There were no grandchildren back then. A little over year after leaving Boston, Sam came long, then two years later, Ziggy and Jonah. Mark and I flew home for the birth of each grandchild and then Ollie and Coco were born once we were back home. Mark and I spent 6 of the 15 years traveling around the world, then we spent 5 years here on the Cape battling Mark’s cancer. But during those 5 years, we continued to live on Windbird and he got to know and enjoy his grandchildren. I have spent the last 4 of those 15 years learning to live alone without Mark and learning to live on land once again. I miss him so much, especially on a day like today. Once we were based here on Cape Cod, we both loved the annual pumpkin patch trip and loved watching the harvesting of the cranberry bogs. So, here’s to Mark, the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of the Voyage of Windbird, and the ninth anniversary of spending glorious autumns on Cape Cod.

2020 Life Logs, Day 292: More Cranberry Harvesting
2020 Life Logs, Day 290: Goldpebble Overnight