Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Road to Peaks

I've always enjoyed hearing the stories of how individuals living on Peaks Island got here. The tales are so interesting and varied.

We actually stumbled onto the Island while on a picnic on House Island. We wandered around to the back of the Island, stood on a small sandy spec of beach and looked over at Peaks Island and uttered our famous words "I wonder what it would be like to live on that Island?" That lead to a trip out to look at a house for sale on Island Avenue and many hours of wondering what it would take to make a home out of the Island. Fortunately, a fresh newspaper ad popped up the next day for a different house. We saw the house at noon, signed an offer by 1pm and had it accepted by 4pm so voila, we owned a Peaks Island house. We returned the next weekend and sat down and wept with the classic what did we do buyers remorse feeling as we more closely looked at the house and everything that needed to be done to get us all through a winter. Well, thirty one years later, we're still here and still working on getting things fixed, some for multiple times.

But, what really got me here is my love of living by an ocean. The sea absolutely fills my soul, settles my whacky muddled brain down and constantly puts me in my place. In my youth, my father built a small camp in the basement of our house in Hopedale, MA. Somehow, he created a nice jigsaw puzzle of 2x4's, wall frames, roof beams and transported everything down to Roy Carpenter's Beach in Matunuck, Rhode Island and erected it on a site. This site was one of many sites on land owned by Roy Carpenter. For $75. per season you rented the lot, paid the property taxes and got to use your own home built camp. I've never seen anything like this then or since. Frankly, this site is still there and still operating but I believe the annual cost is about $3,000 per season now. The community store and community bathrooms opened on Memorial Day Weekend and closed Labor Day Weekend. Most of the people came from the Providence area and entire families moved down for the summer with Dad commuting back and forth.

Our little camp had two beds, a bunk bed, a tiny kitchen area, a folding table and a reading chair. On rainy days we had to stay in our bunks since there was no room for everyone to walk around at once. In return for the small space, we literally lived on the beach for twelve weeks every summer. This arrangement lasted until Hurricane Carol in 1955 moved our little camp about one half mile inland and deposited it in a pile of rubble along with all the other cottages. After a short family meeting in which I had no vote, the decision was made to rebuild and this time the new camp was twice the size of the old one with two chairs and a permanent table. During my high school daze, I did everything I could to get out of going down there but after college I did everything I could to spend as much time as possible there. It was a place that just settled me down and provided much needed respites.

After we had finally found a bank to give us a mortgage (no one seemed to want to lend money on Peaks Island property back then), I spent my first night in the new house sleeping on the living room floor. Waking up in the morning to the gulls, a warm sun and the sounds and smells of the lapping water, I knew I had found my forever home. It really was a very short trip between Matunuck, RI and Peaks Island, Maine. In some areas of your life, it just might be possible to go back even if the locale has moved.


Anonymous AL said...

Really Love that car!!!! (-:

5/10/2006 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The picture is from about 1959 and the car is definitely a 1956 Ford wagon; best car my Dad ever owned


5/10/2006 2:06 PM  
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8/25/2014 8:51 AM  

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