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November 21, 2020


I wonder if you're getting restless in your hermitage, and itching to travel; the sea implies change and movement and foreign-ness, things I imagine a frequent traveler like yourself would begin to crave after too long at home. Good luck, hang in there -- 2020 is almost over!

ah Beth, I'm a Cape Codder with the family tree going back to the very first white settlers, yes that little boat.I grew up with Mashpee Indian friends and it is ironic I had no idea of our history until I received my grandmother's family research. We still own the 1842 house my sister and brothers are in that's been in the family maybe since it was built. My great grandparents ran a grocery store from it. The older relatives worked making glass in Sandwich.
I'd say that growing up near the ocean ruins you for being truly happy anywhere else. We talk about selling our fantastic property here in the mountains and moving back but don't know if we'll ever do it. There are so many problems on the Cape now, over crowding, water pollution, future flooding. Our old house is flood safe but the rest of the town gets hit and the sand dunes that protected it have washed away.
Long story, long, long story.

Perhaps you regard the sea as "cleaner" and "less infectious" than the land. Salt water is, after all, a mild disinfectant.

For me the sea became more important, more mystical, quite late in life, a mere 10 - 15 years ago, when I sailed with my late younger brother in his yacht, Takista, from Spain (actually Basque country) north towards the Vendée in France, and also along the southern coast of Brittany. I'd previously sailed in cross-Channel ferries and a transatlantic liner but this was the first time I'd been so close to the sea's surface, aware of its depth, endlessly changing colour, and restlessness. Too late in life to follow up this enormous discovery, when my brother died.

When I visited Rhode Island, on holiday from Pittsburgh, we collected shells from the beach. Despite the ruthless purging of our possessions prior to returning to the UK these shells somehow survived and now decorate our bathroom. Very superior shells.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.