–Tomorrow is the last day of grant work and fun while we’re on Cape Cod

May 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Online Ministry | Leave a comment

Coming to the end of a three-week-surprise-seize-the-moment-and-do-something-wild-every-day decision to spend time on Cape Cod. I was here on biz for three days; returned home and talked to Heather (an avid cyclist) about it. She wasn’t able to go with me on the short trip due to prior commitments. But she suggested we just up and go while we can. So we did. it’s hard to be spontaneous in the USA. So the European-like openness to possibilities made the trip terrific.

We’ve made good friends with people we met cycling. Had great meals with Veronica, Walter, Nancy and a few other UUs at First Parish Brewster.

Nantucket was simply the best. Loved the interior of the UU church there. Couldn’t get over that houses on both sides of the church are literally one body width apart from the sides of the church! Every night at 9 p.m. The UU there rings its bell 52 times! A new church staffer told me that it’s a curfew tradition that kids used to respect!  I’ll be writing a blog post soon called, “The British Aren’t Coming But Global Warming is Here.” It’ll be about church bells, UU and otherwise, and the modern day neighbors around them. 

The trip inspired us to write the beginnings of a biz plan we’ve been hatching; to get grant work nearly done, and to attended a one-day conference on digital development of Cape Cod. An architect/builder friend visited a few properties with us and we may decide to buy and gradually transition here. Not sure yet but it’s a good possibility. Had dinner with my former boss who came down from Boston and we rolled eyes over the bankruptcy filing of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

I spent several hours at a town hall in Barnstable county getting to know the Building Commissioner, Town Planner, Assessor and Health Dept. Director. The people in these roles actually sit near the reception desks of their departments and look forward to talking to citizens. I returned over the course of three days and they actually remembered my name. They also promptly answered questions in email. They were extremely helpful on a number of issues related to sceptic tank improvements; property setbacks; zoning and other tantalizing topics.

Now if the citizens in the towns actually showed some desire to leave a legacy beneficial to those who are to inherit it from them, I think I’d feel even more comfortable with the idea of moving here. As the town planner said to me: “Welcome to the origins of democracy.” Translation: Town professional staffs are progressive, the residents (in many cases mostly retirees) and elected officials evidently are not interested in working on solutions that protect the environment and lifestyle on the Cape but also improve its economy so that a living wage can be earned year round.

A few people looked askance at us when we said we found two properties that we might consider making an offer on. We’ve been researching and looking at so many locations in New England and elsewhere for the last 10 years that we have a laser-focused list of what we need to achieve certain goals. We found 95% of them on the Cape. That’s the highest score to date, with Burlington, VT at 80%. Almost bought a house there last year but realized it wasn’t right for us. Wonderful UU congregation in Burlington!


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