Back in June I rented a small home and studio in Wellfleet for the month of November. “The Plan” was to spend half of each day visiting with my parents, and especially with mom whose health was declining, and the other half painting. And as I should have remembered the universe has its own plan as sadly mom passed in late August. Then not two weeks after returning from her funeral my father fell and then needed surgery and things went downhill quickly for him. So back to the Cape I went.
I was on Cape for 7 weeks, the last five weeks were spent in the Wellfleet rental which had no TV, no internet yet a very large studio. At the time I made the decision I thought it was just what I needed. I was wrong. I spent most of my time in the hospital, at the rehab center and to help keep me centered I signed up for two artist workshops in Provincetown, one girls weekend and finally began to paint again. My dad, I am happy to report, is doing well and will be moving back to his apartment soon. I am back in Elmira for three days before flying to Florida for the winter. There is no cable here however there is wireless. So instead of listening to the hum of the refrigerator I decided to type up the notes from the workshops and blog about a few of the experiences that took place as I witnessed Fall turn to Winter on the Cape. Hope it makes up for my absence over the past few months.
Saturday, October 27: Entry #1, The Move to Wellfleet
I had only seen pictures of the house and studio online so as the engine of my SUV, filled with a studio’s worth of canvas, paints, lighting, easels and a folding table as well as a few suit cases, complained and I struggled to climb the steep, small, pot-holed filled path that was Pine Crest Way I wondered just what I had gotten myself into. At its crest I was met with the house and studio first hand. I sat in my car for a few minutes and gazed at it, as well as the surrounding area. I realized I was going to be alone. Really alone. It was the edge of Fall. There was news that a possible hurricane was tracking our way and the owners called from Minnesota and instructed I prepare for a few nights without water or power. The main stream grocery store was 30 minutes away and my Dad’s place/rehab was about 50 minutes away. What was I thinking?
It was almost dark when I returned with a car filled with firewood, a few gallons of water, ice and some non-perishable food items like oranges, organic peanut butter and home made bread. That night I went to bed early. Remember, I had no TV or internet and I had yet to discover a radio. And yes, I used the weather app on my iPhone but my data plan was taking a beating. Anyway, I was lying there in a foreign place when I started hearing unusual noises. Very LOUD unusual noises. At first I couldn’t tell where it was coming from but I jumped out of bed and turned all the lights on and realized it was coming from...the roof.
If it were day time I would have thought it was from large birds walking on the roof, their talons like long finger nails on metal. But they were scurrying like mice and would have to be some pretty hefty meeces! I gathered up the courage to go outside on the back deck with my phone ready to dial 9-1-1. The storm was still half-a-day away yet the winds were steady at 20 knots with gusts over 30. So there I stood looking out into the dark as the wet leaves rustled about my feet and the beam from my flashlight flickering through the trees when I began to realize what was causing all the raucous. And stood there with a sense of relief and let out an embarrassing laugh.
HUNDREDS OF ACORNS HAD FALLEN ON THE ROOF AND THE WIND WAS RACING THEM FROM SIDE TO SIDE! Add to that the occasional large pine cone “bombers” and a branch or two dropping and you get the idea. I felt like Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway when he learns the enemy teasing him at night was merely the sound of coconuts falling from the palm trees.
As I tried to settle back into bed I found myself wondering, on this, my first night in Wellfleet, what was doing out “here?”