Cottage Fever

“Cottage Fever” is a powerful force! It never really goes away; it just goes dormant for the winter. ~ Deb Bosworth


In our neck of sandy Cape Cod Bay we get hit with a double- dose of spring fever this time of year! The gardening bug starts biting in early February ( even though we are usually still buried in snow ) and our tiny off-grid Cottage by the Sea begins to whisper our names ever so softly. Thoughts and images of past summers begin to swim in our heads and hearts, reminding us that “The Cottage ” awaits. With each passing day those whispers grow louder beckoning us to return to the BEACH!


Temps are in the mid 40’s and there’s a bit of an ocean breeze a blowin’. But, the sun is out and there’s isn’t a cloud in the sky! Buckle (and bundle) up! We are headed out to “The Cottage “ to take a look around and a nice long walk. We packed a Lobster Roll to share, some favorite tunes and hot coffee for a quick rest on the porch before we head home.

 Our BEACH community is off-grid due to its location. Not quite an island we are connected to the mainland by Powder Point Bridge and a long, skinny stretch of fragile beach road. A protected bay on one side and the open ocean on the other.
Before the 1/2 mile long wooden bridge was built in 1892 the only way to the ” island” was by boat. At one time it made its way into the guinness book of world records for being the longest wooden bridge in the US but lost it’s title when it was re-built in 1987. At 2,200 feet ( same size as the original bridge) it still holds the record for being the longest wooden bridge in America ( possibly the world ) that is drivable by car. The maximum speed limit is ten miles per hour. Slowing down to a dull roar in order to cross the bridge is like drawing in a nice big deep breath…When we get to the other side we blow it all out leaving the ” real world ” behind. We also remove our seat belts! FREE AT LAST!

My Yankee has great tales of how his family used to drive down the sandy beach road ( loaded to the gills for the entire summer) in an old Volvo with over- inflated intertube tires in hopes of making the trip without getting stuck in the deep, soft sand. They almost always got stuck once and had to shovel out. Nowadays, the road is graded a few times a year making for a much easier passage. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier for less than conscientious non-residents to find their way to our ” neighborhood”  as well. As residents of a private community we have to contend with people coming into our “backyard ” un-invited who think it’s great fun to park in the fragile dunes and tender marsh grass, party all night, hoot and holler, vandalize property, leave behind trash, and start fires. Currently, we, along with other concerned residents are working with local police to put a stop to this destructive and UN-wanted activity.

 Let’s face it. Nowhere is pure utopia, but this is close and we aim to do everything in our power to preserve it for future generations.

The grasses are still brown and it’ll be a couple of months before we see any buds on the sea roses or greening of the marsh grass but the “Winter BEACH “has its own beauty.

Clotheslines hang in the bitter breeze waiting for the first brightly colored bathing suits and beach towels to be hung to dry by the sun. Planters are still filled with the remains of last years blooms gone-by.

And window boxes sit empty waiting for a fresh planting scheme.

We plant our pots on Memorial Day weekend every year, rain or shine!

The best part about going to the beach in the off-season is the quiet. It’s always fun to catch up with the hardy souls who live there year round but that doesn’t interfere with the feeling of peace and solitude a day at the beach in late winter gives. No boat motors to compete with the sound of the waves. And only a few harmless trespassers who let their curiosity get the best of them.

Our neighbors planted a row of grapes a few years ago. By the looks of them they have wintered over well and we can look forward to fresh grapes this summer!

Perhaps it’s this natural ” food from the sea” that makes the difference? They’ve harvested a heap of Seaweed for the large veggie garden they plant every year.

We’ve got a pile of branches, twigs and tree trunks ready for the chipper so we can begin practicing ” the covering ” method of gardening (we talked about in my previous post) at the cottage this year. We’ll have to be sure to keep some out for a bonfire or two though!

As we poked around inside and out I was reminded of our revolving TO -DO list. We still need: new windows in the kitchen, a new floor in the kitchen, re-shingling, a new well pump and maybe even a solar hot water heater for hot water on demand. But enough of that! We’ll get to it! Some of it anyway!

Today is for walking, listening, and letting the ocean do her magic on our weather beaten souls. We are headed down to the waters edge through the goat trail and into the dunes! Ya ready?

This old garden gate tugs at my farmgirl heart everytime I walk by it.

Garages aren’t the norm in these parts. Sheds and smaller out-buildings fit the bill for storing necessities and supplies for cottage living.

Many residents still use outhouses (or keepers). This one is about as “beach rustique”as they come!

Whoa…. time to stop for some photo- ops!

We’ve made our way into the dunes! The snow fence helps catch the sand. The dunes play an important role in protecting our small homesteads. If it wasn’t for them the water would wash right in and take everything in it’s path right out to sea.
The Yankee and I love to get a little ” artsy fartsy ” with the camera on our walks.

We slow down, stop and look for interesting objects, shapes, shadows, textures and light-play.

These Canadian Geese are having a late afternoon feast on minnows in the tide pools. Come to think of it, I’m getting hungry too! Time to head back to the cottage for that Lobster Roll and hot coffee. Then, it’s ” back to reality “!

You didn’t think we left Max home did you? Our teenagers aren’t always ” on board ” for a trip to the beach. They’ve got social lives after all!

But, our best friend is always up for stroll on the beach! He’s all smiles everytime we go! We hope you were too!

  1. Dolly Sarrio says:

    I love this post so much! Thanks for sharing every bit of it!

    Well, you’re welcome my dear Dolly! Thanks for the visit! xo Deb

  2. Jan says:

    Oh Deb, you are just such a BLESSED farmgirl! I felt like I could almost reach out and grab a fistful of that glorious white sand and let it sift through my fingers..Love the color pallet and the tones of the water! Max is one adorable guy..
    I have been thinking of doing some spiffing up in my sun room this spring. Thanks for giving me a SPARK! Maybe some sand tones and more blues???
    Have a great weekend!

    Hi Jan! Don’t I know it… How can I fuss about not having my " dream farm " when I’ve been so blessed…? One day I WILL have chickens at the beach and MORE FLOWERS! !!! 🙂 Oh, you’ll have fun with your spiffing… You’ll send pics’ right? 🙂 Thanks for the visit! xo Deb

  3. hedy king says:

    As a sea starved Hoosier, I really needed this post today. Your cottage is lovely and the surrounding views even more so. And the breath you take as you cross your wooden bridge is the same one I take whenever the sight of the ocean appears wherever I am. Cape Cod, Gulf Shores, Acadia, Portland… such a head clearing, body soothing sight. Thanks for the treat.

    Isn’t nature the best healer? Thanks for reading Hedy and for your note! xo Deb

  4. meredith (hereford girl) says:

    Thanks Deb! Our little slice of heaven is in NC and your post made me miss it all the more! Beach day is coming soon (and Indy and Rocky, our corgis, will be there too! Nothing funnier than a corgi running in the sand!)

    Hi Meredith! Good for you! I’m sure you are counting the days…! People have finally stopped asking us where Max’s  legs and tail are! The only thing funnier is watching him swim! Thanks for walking with us today! xo Deb

  5. meredith (hereford girl) says:

    Thanks Deb! Our little slice of heaven is in NC and your post made me miss it all the more! Beach day is coming soon (and Indy and Rocky, our corgis, will be there too! Nothing funnier than a corgi running in the sand!)

    Hi Meredith! Good for you! I’m sure you are counting the days…! People have finally stopped asking us where Max’s  legs and tail are! The only thing funnier is watching him swim! Thanks for walking with us today! xo Deb

  6. Emma says:

    This was such a wonderful trip for me. The beauty of it all is breathe taking! I love the lovely desk. Thanks so much for sharing. Oh by the way I remember those out houses oh too well spiders and all!

    Dear Emma,  Yes, using an outhouse can be quite the experience! We have wood bee’s that love our outdoor solar shower…. I’m forever swatting at them!!! Thanks for joing us! xo Deb

  7. Cori says:

    I could feel myself relaxing right along with you. Love your posts!

    Dear Cori, That’s the idea! Thanks for coming along! xo Deb

  8. Pam deMarrais says:

    Hey Deb, thanks for bringing me home again. I too loved the sound of the wood planks beneath my wheels when crossing the Powder Point Bridge.
    I love all of your photos. You truly are artsy-fartsy!

    There you are Pam! I thought of you while I was writing this one! Thanks for coming along for the ride/walk! xo Deb

  9. Oh Deb honey, YES, but it doesn’t go dormant during the winter. It comes to me in dreams, in moments when a scent stirs my memories of our island. I miss it so much.

    Sending love to you and Boz, gosh his photos are stupendous.

    You’ve inspired me to revisit photos from last summer and do my next posting about our Maine life. I’ll link to this posting. XX


    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    Hello dear Sharon! Sooo nice to hear from you here! I knew this one would stir your sea loving soul! I’ look forward to your Maine posting!  xo Deb

  10. Jinx says:

    Taking a break from stressful tax work for Monday’s appt. so getting to see your Northern beach cottage was a wonderful mind-break. I live on the N.C. coast , Topsail Is., so I know all about the healing of Nature and the Winter slow down from tourist. It stays warm enough almost year round here for shelling and enjoying the outdoors but, your photos made me envious. You did pick up that bottle in the sand didn’t you? What a tresure. Thanks for sharing !!

    Jinx,  We’ve been to the Outer Banks, Wright Museum, Kitty Hawk, and stayed in Avon for a week… It was a nice break from our long winters here! We did pick  the bottle up… It wasn’t old but at least it’s not trashing up the dunes anymore! Thanks for reading! x0 Deb

  11. Brenda says:

    Thank you for the beach time. My favorite place to spend time. We have many beaches her in Michigan, but I love the ocean…Only been there twice but I could live in your little cottage and be happy, happy, happy!

    Hi Brenda! You are welcome! I think we were all over due for a trip to the beach!

    Anytime near the water is good time! Thanks for reading! xo Deb

  12. adrienne says:

    Enjoyed this post and love your blog. But my most favorite is Max Corgi! I just love him! I am partial to long-bodied, short dogs and have 2 clumber spaniels, Scout (girl) and Peabody. They too would be most happy to explore that beach path!

    Thanks for the nice respite from my hectic day,

    Adrienne (and Scoutie and Peebs too)

    Hi Adrienne… So glad you enjoyed the post! I’ll be sure to give Max a pat for ya! xo Deb

  13. Sandi says:

    Hi Deb, I always enjoy your blogs but this one is near to my heart and location! I’m sou’east of you accross the bay on the Cape. The landscape is very similar and in my mind I’ve always had a little cottage at water’s edge! Maybe you can give us a tour on the inside as well! Thanks for taking us along!

    Hi Sandi, Thank you! Nice to hear I have a beach sister on the cape! I’ll do an inside post once we open for the season!  Right now, the bbq,picnic table and fishing supplies are stored inside for the remainder of the winter! Thanks for reading! xo Deb

  14. Florence says:

    Love your beach blog! Farm Girl Florence

    Thank you Florence! xo Deb

  15. MellOnWheels says:

    Absolutely beautiful! This reminds me of many of the pictures in my Hunting Island blog post. I am in love with the seashore. <3

    Thank you! Glad to have you along!  Hunting Island? I’ll have to check that out! xo Deb

  16. KimberlyD says:

    I know the Great Lakes are not the Atlantic Ocean. But I understand how you feel about the pull…I grew up in Michigan my summers were going to Lake Huron, and I moved to Utah for 2 years and when I came back the first thing my friend and I did was drive to Tawas Beach and I walked on the sand and rolled my pants up and waded into the water…I missed it so much, its like my soul needed the nourishment of Lake Huron!

    Thanks for the blog on your cabin..and I would love to drive over that wooden bridge..I love driving on them! We have a few around my neck of the woods.

    Hi Kimberly! I’ve never been to the Great Lakes, but in pictures they sure look like the ocean.  Thanks for the visit today!  Deb xo

  17. Laura says:

    It is heaven to a beach-loving person like me, so many thanks for sharing so I can live vicariously through you 😉
    and the Yankee, and Max 😉
    p.s. I bought the Back To Eden DVD. It was inspiring, and funny thing is I started doing just that in my garden with mulch from 2 tree stumps that were grinded, so I have my "covering" in place.
    Thanks, Deb!!

    Hi Laura, Yay! You are ahead of me in the " covering " department… I’ve got piles ready for the chipper here at home and the cottage! Soon! That video changed the way I look at gardening forever! Thanks for the note Laura! xo Deb

  18. Nancy says:

    What a lovely refuge! I feel renewed just reading about it!


    Wonderful! xo Deb

  19. Shery says:

    Oh Sure, my cabin fever is peaking and you post excquisite torture like this ;o) I think I feel better … or worse. ha. No really … Thank You for the pleasant distraction from dirty snowdrifts, ice and frozen manure piles. When do you officially declare ‘spring’ in your corner of the world? xo, shery in wyo

    🙂 🙂 :)… Sorry Shery!  I’ll trade ya a week at the cottage for a week on your ranch! I’d love a good sniff of your horses and I’d probably stand on a manure pile to get one! Hahahaha!  Spring will be here for us sometime in mid to late April if the weather cooperates. We can have very wet and gray weather in March and April. I guess that’s Spring in our corner of the world. It’s also when the tree’s begin to leaf out which makes it official in my book! I’ve got crocus in bloom right now, but everything else is still bare and brown! Thanks for popping in on this rainy Saturday in New England! xo Deb  PS. Pat the horses for me!!!

  20. Clint Baker says:

    What a wonderful post Debbie! I am gonna post this in my note!

    Hi  Clint! Thanks! Nice of you to stop by today! Your newest raised beds are looking wonderful! Nice job ! Deb

  21. Marji says:

    As I read your post I swear I can smell the sea. It has been a very long, cold winter in Interior Alaska. The 5th coldest on record and one of the snowiest. Your lovely pictures and words have "un-frosted" me for a while. I love your little cottage on the sea. Thank you for sharing. I think I need a seaside vacation !:{.
    Many Blessings–

    Hi Margi,  So thats’ where Old Man Winter has been this year? We haven’t had much to speak of here. But, I still say let the un-frosting begin!!! It’s time! Thanks for reading today!

    Deb xo

  22. Joan Marie Brown says:

    What a wonderful early-March trip to the beach for ALL. Especially the gal from Alaska. We didn’t have winter here in PA either, but know AL has been frozen. We’ll soon start our weekend treks to Cape May, NJ to enjoy our cottage and start the Spring chores. But any day near the ocean is a vacation! Your photos have inspired me to snap some at our little Victorian gem by the sea, soon.

    Hi Joan! I agree… It was time for a trip to the beach for ALL! Temps have been below 40 here all week… Brrrr…. Come on spring!!! Thanks for reading! xo Deb Would love to see pix of your little gem by the sea!

  23. Cynthia says:

    What an incredible trip. Thanks for taking this land locked sea loving country girl along.

    Hi Cynthia! You’re welcome.. Glad you could make it! xo Deb

  24. Karin Thomas says:

    I have always been a mountain loving farmgirl. Then my son married a girl from the Outer Banks. Her Grammie has a house on the ocean side with three stories of glass and a huge deck facing the water. Whenever we visit Grammie gives us the big guest room at the back that looks over the ocean. We open the sliding doors and watch the moon rise and listen to the waves crashing all night. And I have fallen in love with the ocean now, too. Love your blog and your gorgeous little Max!!

    Hi Karin, Oh, blessed you are to sleep near the sea, hear the waves crash and watch the moon! So calming and magical… much like a night under the stars high in mountains under the pines, or under a big twinkling night sky in the high desert on a summers eve! It’s ALL GOOD STUFF! Thanks so much for your note! xo Deb

  25. Raynita says:

    Oh, Deb, thanks for sharing your beautiful beach cottage and community with me. It was wonderful for my soul and dreams. I got my husband the Garden of Eden DVD for Valentine’s Day. He said it was the best gift…we are ready to chip up everything. That will be our next purchase, a chipper. Keep sharing your shoreline……..Raynita

    Hi Raynita!

    You are welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed Garden of Eden. It just makes sense doesn’t it? Thanks for reading! xo Deb

  26. Linda says:

    Where do I get this Garden of Eden video? Synopsis?
    Inside pictures of your beach cottage?
    I absolutely love reading your blog and all the retro pictures and photos.
    I live in KS-no beach
    We are getting ready to drive over 1000 miles to get to NC beaches.
    Happy Spring Break!!!!

    Hi Linda! Here is a link to the dvd.  It’s great! As for images of thei nside of our cottage… they are mostly sprinkled throughout different blogs. Thanks for reading and Happy Spring Break!

    xo Deb


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