“Amphibians—the word comes from the Greek meaning ‘double life.”

The air conditioner is off and the windows are open just to let in the morning air. The day is lovely right now. It is still cool enough, but that will give way to the heat, another day in the 80’s. I’m not complaining though, as Boston will have its fourth day in the 90’s.

I have to go to the dump later. My trunk is filled with bags of trash, and I have one more to load. In the winter the dump is the tundra with cold winds blowing across. In the summer it is the desert, a wide expanse of empty land with the hot sun beating down on you.

This is the first week of tourist season. I hope it doesn’t rain. When it does, the roads because impassable with all those tourists riding around looking for something to do. Sitting in a small cottage playing yet another game of Monopoly gets boring, and the open road beckons. The movie theaters get filled, the bowling lanes have waiting lines and the shops have customers looking for Cape Cod t-shirts, decorative shells and bottles of Cape Cod air. I hibernate on rainy days.

We never came went to the cape for vacations. We mostly went north to Maine or New Hampshire, but I do remember our one vacation in Vermont. We stayed at a huge, old white house set back on a small road across the street from a lake which I remember as enormous, but I was only eight and much of the world was enormous. My dad used to take me swimming with me on his back. I’d wrap his arms around my neck. He’d dive deep in the water. I was delighted. I could see small fish swimming all around me. We’d stay submerged until I tapped his back telling him I needed air. I also remember the kitchen had an old fashion phone, the sort which needed to be wound up to get a connection. It didn’t work, and when I lifted it I sometimes got a shock. That’s why I remember it. We spend our days outside. We hunted frogs at the creek which ran beside the house and got muddy all over then we’d go across the road and wash it all off at the lake. We ate outside on the porch which ran around the whole front of the house. Even though I was young, this vacation has stayed vivid in my memory banks. I can still remember those frogs with long legs. I needed both hands to hold one.

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6 Comments on ““Amphibians—the word comes from the Greek meaning ‘double life.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Yesterday, we hit 103 degrees for the high and it will be the same today. There’s a 30% chance of rain on Wednesday which will mean slightly lower temperatures but higher humidity.

    When I was a kid living in Texas our vacations were worked in with visiting the relatives back in NYC. We drove from Dallas and spent a week at my grandmother’s then we would drive down to Miami beach and spend a week in a beachfront hotel. One trip my sister and I got a severe sunburn, pre sunblock days, and one summer I got an ear infection and couldn’t go into the water. Anytime I open a jar of Noxima memories of my mother slathering us with the stuff to relive the sunburn pain come rushing back. The summer of 1955 we actually skipped going to NYC and drove to Los Angeles to go to Disnylamd during it’s opening summer. We came back with Mickey Mouse ear caps and Davy Crockett coonskin caps. On the way back home we stopped in Las Vegas for a few days. It’s the Disneyland for adults. 🙂

    I’m taking off this week to use up some of last year’s vacation time. We only get to carry over one year. I don’t have any plans except to relax at home. Sometimes a staycation can be even more relaxing than a trip.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I just watched the weather, and we’ll stay in the high 70’s today. Boston is still predicted to hit 90˚. The humidity is here as well.

      The only vacation to see the sights was the one where we went to Niagara Falls. We stopped along the way to see things like the St. Lawrence Seaway locks and Lake Ontario. We stayed in motels and ate out at restaurants. That was quite different for us given the expense. I loved our stay at home vacations as the days were filled with so many different things to do and see.

      Relaxing at home is a wonderful way to spend your vacation. I know sometimes after a vacation people are just so tired getting back to work.

      • Bob Says:

        Niagra Falls has always alluded me on my business trips to Toronto although it’s only about 53 miles away. I understand that the view from the Canadian side is better than from our side.

        Driving in the days before airline deregulation was the least expensive way to travel. This was before the Interstate highway system was even begun. We traveled on the mother road, Route 66 from Oklahoma City to St. Louis. Also, we traveled the Pensylvania Turnpike from near Pittsburgh to where it joined the New Jersey Turnpike north of Philadelphia. We went through places like Springfield Missouri, Indianapolis, Columbus and Wheeling West Virginia. It took two and a half days to cross half the country.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        We stayed on the American side, went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and did the walk in the falls with all of us wearing yellow slickers. It wasn’t a great trip.

        We never went that far on any car trips. All my relatives lived in the area so we never had a reason to go far and beyond.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We never went to the Cape for vacation either. We went to Maine or NH. Must have been a North of Boston seasonal migration pattern. 🙂
    My parents had a share in a farm in Maine so we spent time there taking care of the chickens and feeding the pigs and the cow. Other relatives had lakeside cottages in NH and we spent time there, too. Later on, in my teens, a friend’s father had the family homestead on the coast of Maine so I’d go there with her and we’d work on farms around the area. Haying mostly. In all those places there was always a body of water in which to swim and rinse off the sweat and bugs and cares of the day. Sometimes, there were even boats and fishing tackle. There were woods and fields and wetlands in which to play, explore, get into and out of “dire situations” on my own talents and with a little help from my friends. I learned a lot while being completely unaware that I was learning anything at all. 🙂

    It’s HOT here today (Wednesday). The dogs are going to the groomer later in the afternoon. I’ll have start the jeep and let the AC run for a bit before I put them in there or we might all succumb to heat prostration.

    Enjoy the day and stay cool.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I agree about the seasonal migration. It is funny to think we ended up moving to the cape. My parents left when my dad got transferred while I was in the Peace Corps and my brother was in the army. He and I ended up staying down here when my dad was transferred back to Boston.

      I never worked on a farm. Most of my summer work was in the Post Office. It was a good place to work, and it paid well for those days.

      Tuesday? Yup, it is hot here though we are cooler than your area, but our humidity is much higher. There is a breeze, but I have still have the AC cranking.

      Have a great day. Eat plenty of ice cream!!


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