Thursday, October 18

Butterflies and Side Trips

As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent last weekend in New Jersey. I was invited to join a group of women at a beautiful beach house in Lavallette. A few of us flew into Philadelphia and rented a car together. We took a little side trip to Cape May, NJ. If you don't know, Cape May is the southernmost point of New Jersey and is near and dear to my heart. When I was between about 7 and 12, we spent a week there every summer there, and for about 3 summers, I was permitted to stay there even after my parents went home. We stayed a what was then a boarding house but is now a B & B, called Carroll Villa. The then owner, Olga Thoden, an amazing woman, convinced my parents to leave me with her on these summers. It was an incredible time in my life. Freedom from shoes, the city, reality. I could not wait to go to Cape May last Thursday, but I was also nervous, really nervous, to see how much it had changed from the vision I had in my head. We drove down, it seemed to take forever, just like it had when I was a kid, and had lunch at The Lobster House. I swear, it was like being in a time warp. The restaurant hasn't changed, and even the waitress uniforms are the same (the waitresses even had that same sun kissed look they all had back in the 70s, how weird is that??)

Imagine my surprise when it was JUST like it was way back when! The boardwalk looked the same, Morrow's Nut House was in the same spot, the store where I bought countless beach toys and rented countless rafts was still there, and Carroll Villa was still there.

Even the miniature golf course was still there!! Lisa and Barb kindly wandered with me, letting me take it all in. As we came around a corner, a butterfly flew directly across my path. It made me catch my breath because butterflies to me are a visit from my Dad. Little did I know that butterflies would be a general theme for the weekend. It seemed like no matter where I went, there was a butterfly somewhere that would catch   my eye!

The abandoned art that I mentioned in my previous post was inspired mostly by the butterflies, and also by the beauty around me. 

I'm back home on the west coast now, cozy in my home in California, but I have a bit of peace knowing that my Dad has made Cape May his special place, and I will never forget the great times I had there with my Dad, walking the beach all the way to Cape May Point lighthouse, eating at The Lobster House, and just being ourselves. Thanks, Dad, you were the very best.