inside the cottage

over the years
is the one I wrote about the Days’ Cottages before I ever stayed in one of the cottages.

The story below reminds me–a person who normally belabors decisions–that sometimes the truest way to the heart is the first thing that pops into your head.

For almost four out of the five years of this blog’s life, I had never set foot in one of the little cottages at the top of the blog.

Not until  June of last year did I stay in a cottage for the first time, and then I knew how right my choice had been to place them at the top.

The cottages are not open every month of the year, but I’ve seen them–and breathed the air around them–every month so far this year,
which is another post entirely… but since it’s only september, that will be for next year : )


March 14, 2010
the days cottages

In 2006, I went to Provincetown for the first time to take a workshop with Pam Houston at the Fine Arts Work Center. Each morning a twenty-minute walk to class took me parallel with the ocean on a cobblestone sidewalk, past art gallery after art gallery and shop owners sweeping away the night’s debris. I inhaled the sea air, the coffee brewing. The world was waking up, and I was watching.

A painting/photograph kept catching my eye. One afternoon I went in to Angela Russo Photography to see it up close. It turns out it was a photograph printed on canvas, and it’s now hanging in front of me. The photograph is also the header on my website. I told Angela how I loved these houses, and she said they were just down the road, that I could see them for myself.

The next afternoon I rented a bike and pedaled the three miles to Truro and there they were.

Two years later, in September of 2008, after thinking about starting a blog for a while but thinking I should wait until my novel was published to start one, I was having lunch when a friend mentioned I should check out her writer friend’s blog. Did she have a book?
No, she didn’t. And that was the last drop, the one that filled the glass, and spilled over into my blog. I made a couple of calls, finally made my way from to, and by the next afternoon, my blog was online.
Usually it takes me forever to make a decision. Not this time.

I looked around my desk and saw the Annie Dillard quote taped to my printer, read it, and named the blog. I needed a photo for the header and immediately thought of the houses. I found one of the photos I’d taken in 2006 and clicked on it, having long forgotten, if I ever knew, the name of the cottages.

Last summer I went back to P-town and again rented a bike. Imagine my surprise as I came pedaling up to the cottages–the Days’ Cottages.

This only happens in writing, I thought, when your subconscious leads you to coincidences and metaphors you only realize later.

In 1931 Joseph A. Days built 9 cottages. Today there are 23–all exactly alike. It was Joe’s wife, Amelia, who thought to name each of the cottages for a flower. You can find them outside of Provincetown, as you approach Truro on 6A. One of these days, I’m going to stay in one.


If you’d like to see the original discussion that includes 33 comments, click the days cottages. Feel free to leave a comment there or here, or both : )