On our last full vacation day we visited our friends at Small Point which has the biggest sandy beach Faro has ever seen. He could dribble anywhere he wanted, including into the tiny waves that rolled for miles over just inches of depth. By the time we loaded him into the car he was covered head-to-toe with the fine grains of sand, mica and shale. It made a nice contrast with his pale skin and his blond baby hairs.

Saturday was packing up and cleaning up day. We squeezed in a last breakfast, an art show before cleaning the house and then drove back to Lobster Cove. As we entered Manchester Axel and I pretended we were going to a new B&B called Lobster Cove B&B, commenting on the cute town and all the things it had to offer and what we’d be doing in this town. When we arrived at our home we found Faro already in bed, Sita selecting a good mystery to watch and Jim off to get pizzas.

I woke up on Sunday morning with that in-the-pit-of-my-stomach-knowing that all good things must come to an end, combining the end of vacation-feeling with the end-of summer feeling that makes Labor Day weekend a little melancholic. We squeezed in a few more vacation activities. Starting with Zumi’s lattes we headed off to Todd’s Farm in Ipswich, a place where people come to buy and sell stuff, some of which I didn’t even know was worth anything. It is a place where the contents of our basement would not be out of place; we are also painfully reminded of all the stuff we threw out when Penny died, and things we are periodically throwing out when all our stuff creeps up on us.

The first buyers show up, according to Sita, at 5:30 AM. By the time we got there closer to 10 some were already packing up as dark clouds were gathering. We were much too late to chance upon the kind of treasures featured at Antiques Roadshow. I nearly managed to leave the place without buying more stuff except I couldn’t leave without getting a set of starched linen dishtowels and a trivet that we call in Dutch ‘asbestos-plaatje’ which is probably illegal these days. It was the Dutch scene that clinched the deal, a boy and girl in traditional Dutch dress, tulips, clogs and windmills. All for three dollars and 50 cents.trivet

I had one last time with Faro on the beach while Sita and Jim took advantage of having two free and willing babysitters at home. And then they drove off to their Easthampton home, leaving us sad and teary eyed waving as the car turned the corner. I think the old set up of intergenerational living in the extended family compound had something going for it with its built-in care for the very old and the very young. We could start a compound here at Lobster Cove.

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