(One of the posts I wrote on my Swell 24.7 blog in my previous life as a gift store owner in the busy tourist town of Provincetown on Cape Cod; posts that are grouped here under the category What Else Is Swell?, and are generally about life in Provincetown, life as a retailer, our fabulous dog Jack who sat outside the store for well over a decade, and other random things that grabbed me at the time.)
Nick and I moved here 13 years ago this week.
It was a big change going from being a nanny (me) and a dog walker (him) in San Francisco to running a card, gift and souvenir store in Provincetown. At the time we had bought the whole building that currently houses id and were operating a much bigger store out of what is now WA and what is now id; we put the wall up between them, creating 2 stores, later. And there was an apartment upstairs so we had somewhere to live.
1999 was a really, really hot summer and in mid-April, when we arrived, it was already shorts and t-shirts weather, with maybe a sweat shirt added after dark. It was a very busy time; learning about running the store, placing orders for the season, getting the apartment painted, not to mention all the legal and financial stuff that goes with buying property, moving house and generally uprooting you life.
We spent our first couple of weeks staying at a guest house while we waited for our furniture to arrive. And every day, early in the morning we would walk down to the store and do as much as we could for the next 12 hours or so and then go back. I remember being completely exhausted by all the work. I remember the sounds of happy voices as snow birds and those that had stayed all winter greeted each other in the bank and the post office and the grocery store. I remember the noise of hammers and saws and sanders all along Commercial Street as people prepped their businesses for opening. I remember being completely exhilarated at the adventure of it all.
But what I remember most clearly is how the water sparkled on the bay as we walked down Johnson Street every morning; it was breathtakingly beautiful and filled us with a sense of optimism and excitement about our new life ahead.
And now, every April, when the sun hits the water at just the right angle and from just the right height, I'm reminded of those couple of weeks when we first moved here. And somehow the sparkle of the water and the fond memories help to throw off the winter blanket of snow and cold and rekindle that sense of anticipation and excitement that we had all those years ago.