I Can’t Slice a Cantaloupe Straight

Summer House

My husband Peter owned a piece of land on a private pond on Cape Cod. A few days after we met, the house he had built on the property was struck by lightning while he slept, and burned to the ground. He came to work the following Monday with singed eyebrows and an interesting story about his sleeping in the nude and the volunteer firemen bringing their wives along.

That happened in the summer of 1965. When we married three years later, we looked into rebuilding, and were told it was risky because the newly-designated National Seashore could take over any new house any time. We built the house, and after ten great summers there, they took it from us. And did nothing with it.

Three years ago, we took a look at it when we were in the area and were sad to find the house completely uncared for. Shortly after our visit, however, someone became interested in the work of our now-deceased architect, and began to raise money to restore the homes he had designed.

That is why we got a phone call from a stranger the other night. He identified himself as an architect who had been commissioned by a trust to restore our house, and he wanted to know everything. He wanted details about the house and how we furnished it. He wanted plans (we don't have them) and pictures of the house with us using it (we do have them). The Trust wants to restore the house to be the way it was in 1970 when it was completed.

Our house will serve as the Trust's office, but the architect told us that they are thinking of renting it to tourists.

We're hoping to be first in line.


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