Life On Cape Cod
I consider myself lucky to have grown up on Cape Cod—Sandwich to be exact. I met my husband Bill at Sandwich High School and after we were married, we decided to raise our family in the same town where we grew up. It is familiar to us and we love being near the ocean. As true Cape Codders, we understand that there are certain expressions or activities that are unique to this particular region and to people who do not live here, “year round,” as we Cape Codders like to say, it can be a bit confusing or even perplexing. For instance, Cape Cod parents find it perfectly acceptable to teach and encourage our children to jump from bridges—well not the Bourne or Sagamore—but other local overpasses. In Sandwich, by the time children are 8 or 9, they have probably jumped from the Boardwalk Bridge at high tide. And by the time they have graduated high school, they have jumped from the overpass bridge at Scorton Creek. There are similar bridges in other towns on the Cape and Islands and we consider the activity of bridge jumping a rite of passage reserved for Cape and Island children.
Here are a few other expressions and quirks unique to the Cape and Islands.
A true Cape Codder is one who was born and raised on the Cape—even better if their parents and grandparents were as well. Anyone who was not born here is considered a wash ashore—even if they have lived here for 50 years or more!
Local Cape Codders know the best routes to take on a Saturday and Sunday in the summer to avoid the MidCape Highway. I would tell you those routes but then I would probably have to kill you. (Hint: we use the tunnel that travels under the Cape Cod Canal. You knew about that tunnel, right? )
True Cape Codders wont go grocery shopping on Saturdays in the summer in fear of how busy they are. We will, however, stand in a line a mile long at our favorite ice cream shop.
Local Cape Codders know the difference between Upper, Mid, and Lower Cape, and we are happy to extend our arm bent in the shape of the Cape to show you where we live.
Islanders (those from Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket) refer to coming to the mainland as “going to America.” When Cape Codders travel over the bridge to the mainland, we simply refer to that as going “off Cape.”
Cape Codders have no problem navigating rotaries or roundabouts as they are now called, which I suspect is a PR strategy to reduce the fear tourists have of these never ending traffic circles.
Real Cape Codders live by the expression, On Cape Time, which means 15 to 20 minutes around the time I said I would be there. Cape casual is not just a clothing or interior design style—it’s a way of life.
Flip flops and boat shoes are a perfectly acceptable office attire.
Cape Codders wear shorts and sandals well into December and even January.
For a true Cape Codder like me, whenever I see the Bourne or Sagamore bridge, I know I am indeed home.