It’s the beginning of the end.
Despite the drizzle, my husband and I climb into our Dodge Ram and make the 45-minute drive to the summer house.
We order a hearty breakfast at Four Corners Grille, and looking outside the windows brimming with boxes of fuchsia flowers, I notice the town coming to life. Farmers set up tents at the Saturday market, proprietors of the tiny shops prepare for the start of weekend business, and soon the flag will appear outside the Tiverton Union Public Library, the perfect place to while away a rainy afternoon.
We watch a horse grazing in the pasture on Neck Road. The grass is still green, but the leaves are already beginning to change.
Descending into a tangible veil of mist on Fogland Road, we take the bumpy dirt path to the beach, slowly navigating a huge hole filled with rainwater.
We park on the deserted beach. The Sakonnet is gray reflecting cloudy skies, and light winds cause ripples instead of waves.
It is high tide, but there are no boats at the ramp on this late September day. In the distance there are two pleasure boats anchored to their moorings.
We drive up High Hill Road and weave up and down the tiny streets of our neighborhood. There are quite a few cottages for sale, but it is natural at the seaside to have turnover.
Renters come and renters go, and homes change hands especially at season’s end. Just like the changeable sea, the population is in flux. But next spring, God willing, we can count on a mix of new and familiar faces, folks who will enjoy their brief sojourn here as much as we do.
The summer house looks forlorn on this dreary day. The maple has lost half its foliage, and brown crinkled leaves carpet the front yard.
I button my raincoat, slip the hood on and sink into the spongy lawn. Checking the kitchen garden behind the shed, I find three green tomatoes still clinging to the leafless plants, which I will leave for another day. But I snap off a small green pepper and slip it into my pocket.
Reluctantly, we leave the summer house, passing through a wet world glistening in the haze.
On this misty fall morning, the season’s end is in sight.