Posted by: Jonathan Caswell | June 26, 2012




August days I grew up here

In New England, two weeks each year…

      Our Dad and Mom would save

      For those vacation days,

When both families had them near.

The Cottage built near Cousin Eddie

With a little cleaning soon was ready…

      The sheets and blankets moth-ball scented

      After driving all day, presented

A time of rest—after canned spaghetti!

Next day we’d start the rounds,

South Street to Hutnak grounds….

       Uncle Andie, Aunt Ida

      And their kids “multiplied-ah”

With lots of little kids’ sounds.

We’d visit uncles and aunts,

Discovering old family haunts…

      “Uncle Johnny’s” in town

       And folks would come down

Just to ask their personal preacher about their wants.

Sometimes impromptu,

Dad and Mom would sit through…

      Someone’s plea for advice

      While we kids would be nice,

Till the private consultations were through.

Then Dad would often say

We need to get away…

     Take a trip “down” to Maine

      Or to Mystic* to obtain

Another view of our heritage and play.

Oh, the lobster and whole-bellied clams,

Boiled, fried or steamed on demand….

      And MOXIE** ice-cold

      With a taste rather bold,

While GEORGE’S*** in Point Judith was grand!

Then nearly at the end of two weeks,

We’d buy more mothballs for the sheets…

      Close the windows—drain the pump—

      Take a last trip to the dump,

And hope over winter there are no leaks.

For years and years this ritual

Kept us coming back to dwell…

      In our Cottage with family

      We desired yearly to see,

As time passed we treasured this well.


—Jonathan Caswell

AUTHOR’S NOTES:  *Mystic, CT (Mystic Seaport, Museum)

                                       **MOXIE…A regional soda flavored with gentian root NOT available at “home”.

                                    ***GEORGE’S RESTAURANT, in Galilee, RI, which we watched grow from a tiny clam shack into a big fancy restaurant right on the R.I. State beach!




  1. hopefully we will never lose our memories, Mystic one of my favorite places, however Plymouth is my favorite enjoyed the write

    • A woman at work stopped by to compare notes on Point Judith and tell me a few more interesting places in Rhode Island. I don’t know why, but the parents never took us—that I remember—through Plimouth Plantation. Maybe they did it with my brother Nate and it was too much to handle with toddlers…?

  2. Reblogged this on OUR POETRY CORNER.

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