Thursday, October 05, 2017

#Write31Days 05 • Harwich

Cranberry Festival Square


It's Har-wich on Cape Cod; in England it's Herridge {more or less}. Around mid-twentieth century, my grandparents bought an old ultra-major fixer-upper farmhouse-style place situated on approximately three acres in the seafaring town of Harwich. Cape Cod the peninsula juts out into the often turbulent North Atlantic, leaving it vulnerable to hurricanes; Cape Cod the tourist attraction features beaches, bed and breakfasts, antique stores, and a wide variety of recreation opportunities during the summer months, leaving it open to ample influxes of visitors and cash.

Writing about Harwich is a "where to begin!" Harwich means waking up early to almost opaque fog and chilly air, pulling on long pants and a sweater, changing into shorts and a tank top by mid-morning because the hot sun has decided to smile and sizzle from the sky. Harwich is driving to the pier as fishing boats pull up to the dock and buying fresh catch cod or flounder wrapped in yesterday's news. Harwich is the annual cranberry festival. Do you know about cranberry bogs? Cranberries are an interesting cash crop! Harwich is Heather's friendship. Harwich is New England town meeting politics that's almost identical to congregational church polity. Spicy brownies called hermits originated in Harwich; somewhere I acquired a matchless recipe for hermits, and would hope to bake a few dozen for Christmas gifts again this year.

I still love the spaciousness of the West and the endless stretch of the Pacific. Since the turn of the twenty-first century I've been on the Left Coast without an opportunity even to visit the Other Coast again, but I'd consider a 3,000 mile wide trip back to the smaller, "more human scale" of Cape Cod—as Outermost House author Henry Beston expresses us. Around here I hear about LA, the Valley, the OC and the IE. I might like to hear news in a New England accent—as long as I don't stay long enough to acquire one myself.

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