As one who feels a whole year lasts about three months, it's hard to believe summer is over on Cape Cod. The proof lie in slightly diminished traffic for the first time since June. The sun sinks lower in the sky and casts different shadows in the house and yard. Pink roses which gave way to blue hydrangea last month, yield to the yellows of the black-eyed Susans now.
With the hectic pace of a popular tourist destination slowing down, I can catch my breath and observe things that passed me by just a couple of weeks ago, namely:
1. On Cape Cod, courtesy rightly takes the place of traffic lights. For two months of the year we have the volume to warrant the additon of thousands more traffic lights, but for the other ten months traffic flows freely. The best way to keep traffic lights at bay is to gradually slow to a stop so that someone turning left from the opposite lane can turn and release the traffic backed up behind it.
2. Sometimes all you need is 500 Million dollars. I saw that embroidered on a dish towel while shooting video at Popponesset Marketplace for my youtube channel. Every time I think of that, it makes me smile.
3. We have unique employment needs on the Cape. I saw a job posting on craigslist seeking help at a Barnstable oyster farm. "Should be able to lift approximately 50 lbs repeatedly. Understand that most work is in a marine environment, hours vary with tide. Will need waders. Part time days."
4. Bicycling on sidewalks may be against the law in Massachusetts and elsewhere, but it shouldn't be and I am pleased whenever I see bicyclists using the sidewalks to stay clear of traffic. It would not be fun to be a pedestrian hit by a bike, but far less so to be a bicyclist hit by a car. The U.S. in general and Cape Cod in particular must plan for the increasing use of bicycles in the coming years, and that includes amending the sidewalk ban at the very least-- or better still, creating dedicated bike paths separating us from vehicular traffic.
5. You can't have too many weekly farmer's markets, and this year the granddaddy of Cape Cod farmer's markets will expand through the winter months.
6. The most desired Cape Cod real estate profile I encountered all summer was for a "walk to village" location. Everyone is so sick of the traffic getting here that they want to park the car and not get in again until it's time to go home. The villages of Falmouth, Harwich Port, Chatham, Wellfleet, Barnstable and to a lesser extent, emerging Dennisport and a more spread out Yarmouthport, are top destinations for this. Of those, Harwich Port is closest to the beaches too. It's no coincidence there is an attachment between Harwich Port and Naples, Florida. In both towns you can see the ocean at the end of a side road in the village.
7. Sharks are replacing dinosaurs as the next big thing. The Discovery Channel's Shark Week programming was a ratings winner. Great Whites, several of which are tagged and named off Cape Cod, are celebrities. Did you know Katherine has spent the month of August hanging in the waters off Beaufort, North Carolina and Little River, South Carolina? You didn't? Then you're not sucked into the Ocearch shark tracker like the rest of us.
8. Cape Cod needs more sushi places. There, I said it.
9. Opponents of a third bridge over the Cape Cod Canal oppose it because "we don't need a third bridge bringing more people to Cape Cod". They don't realize it would take people off the Cape too. Bring it on.
10. I hope the traditional spectacle of locals waving from the overpasses in a sarcastic send-off to the summer people is done for good. That's just plain rude.
There goes summer. Bring on autumn.