Long before the term “staycation” became popular, my family took the time to enjoy this beautiful state and take in the splendor that it provides from mountains to sea.

My parents never bought a summer cottage or a winter chalet, mainly because of their frugal inclination to spend only what they had in their pockets, but they also wanted to devote their limited free time to seeing different areas. My father fancied the ocean, so we often rented vacation homes overlooking coastal waters.

Recently, my brother and I reminisced about one particular spot, so we decided to take a drive to find it. As we ventured out, we talked about the small white camp that sat on a little bit of an incline overlooking a delightful little tidal cove. We chatted about the nearby beach that was accessible by a precarious set of stairs and the hours spent collecting horseshoe crabs, seaweed and other pliable things that washed ashore. Mornings and afternoons were dedicated to building various sand castles and digging moats that would fill as the tide rolled in. Our imaginations kept us busy every day as we built new structures to replace those washed away.

We found the turnoff and simultaneously gave out a sigh of relief as we came upon the sign for “Saturday Cove.” In our minds, this was a magical place, and as I headed the car down the road, we both exclaimed, “I wonder if the penny candy store is still there.” We quickly confessed our fond memory for the times we were given 10 cents and would walk with our parents up the hill to the store where we would painstakingly ponder how we would spend our allowance on 10 individual pieces of sweets.

Before we were able to debate our favorite selections, we stopped in front of a building that resembled our favorite spot and realized that the 50-plus years since our last visit had remarkably changed the landscape. There was nothing more than an unmarked building, with no sign of edible treats to be found inside. We continued onward down the steep sloping road and immediately noticed the new pavement and a parking lot. We glanced across the cove and discovered that our quaint summer home had been replaced by a more modern structure.

We paused to absorb how suddenly all of our memories had faded into the passage of time. Then, without another word, I turned the car around and we headed home. On the ride back, we deliberated about the changes and realized that we, too, might not be as recognizable, with our graying hair and prescription glasses. Lucky for us, we had this time together to reminisce about our youth – and that was more rewarding than finding our little cottage.

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