Although Whitcomb, the house where we grew up as a tumble of cousins in, is long gone, this is the Minot I will always remember. And in the "Magic Hour" of New England summer nights it bring it all back to mind so perfectly.
When uncles goofed in the yard with photo gear balanced on a red jeep, shooting photos of nieces and nephews trailing sparklers and flashlights, laughing, the yard a circus-literally (trust me on this) and the house was always full, evident through paper thin walls of the old beach cottage style house. Aunts and guest coming in and out on the porches in a confusing but comforting whirl, and for reason still lost on me, the endless tableau of "weddings" acted out in the yard.
Conversations were constant, rapid fire and brilliantly witty-literature, history, nature - asking your childhood thoughts on something grown up, because why not, you had ideas! Fun and trouble constant, and interchangeable, often involving so called adults. There was no indoors or outdoors-life was lived across "the island" of Minot itself with chilly swimming classes, tennis, golf, sailing, climbing rocks, 'rescuing kittens' from the marshes and always making your way home in time for dinner. Bikes were our freedom, some days our horses, some days cars, and as we grew through the hand me downs, we proudly marked our progress, remembered other cousins having the yellow and black "hardcore" bike with the big tire treads or the grown up red bike with the hand breaks, and now it was our turn!
Living the childhood of bold rainbow twilights, neighborhood wide games in the dark with other families of cousins, an endless parade of animals-always returned to their homes or habitats, skinned knees and minor sports wounds, moonlight trails on the ocean when we were bold and snuck out. And always with cousins and siblings, family safe and close... the freedom and the security, the wild come and go as you like childhood, and beauty of our coastline and the "herd of cousins."
We were the lucky ones.