My Quiet Places on the Cape & Nancy's Mac and Cheese [Rock Hopper]

      Well, the easiest thing to have done this week was some well, something Irish, something lucky, something wee little, something Emerald Green. But then I thought a minute and wondered why anyone would want to read my memories on sticky green little piles of sea-weed that spent last winter off the coast of Ireland. I would have done the same thing, gone to the next blog. But this is not so here we go. 

      There are times that you just need to get away, find a place of solitude, just a quite out of the way place that you can be left alone and just think. Over the years this was changed for me, first my constraints were age, when young I couldn't go to far away, next was I could not easily take to the car as we only had the family car and as a teenager who wants to be seen in the family station wagon on vacation. Then later in life just plan old time and family, but we all need our get away time, we all need to find a place that we think, talk out loud were no-one is around to think you have completely lost your marbles. Sometimes I think that taking that time on vacation is even more important then any other time of the year. 
      When I was young I remember being able to ride my bike all over Campers Haven. In the late 60's early 70's there was a playground towards the back of the park, and a fence between Campers Haven and the back side of Chases. Both area were not populated as they are today and just on the other side of the fence there was a grove of pine trees that the branches went all the way to the ground. This was good for many things that a young boy was looking for to hide while doing, as well as just hiding out and giving a place to be by ones self. As I got older and could venture outside of Campers Haven I used to ride my bike all over the place, especially up and down Old Wharf Road and when I could even out to Lower County Road all the way out to West Dennis beach and even as far Bass River. I never really liked getting up early in the morning but to ride down to a deserted beach and watch as the morning sunlight stretched across the Nantucket Sound and being able to reflect on things was just a time that can never be taken away from me. 
      As the years went by and I got older, I would be able to take the car every now and then. I would find myself going up near the old railroad bridge over the Bass River. There were some places you could park and go sit out on the old bridge and just be by yourself watching the tide roll in and out. The other place along Bass River that was a nice get away was Uncle Freeman's landing. It was a nice place to watch the boat turn as the tide changed, also to sit and watch the charter boats go in and out at different times of the day. Each place had it's own time, and remembrances. Some places were better in the morning and others in the evening, as one looking for a getaway does not want to be where the crowds are. And in the middle of August and the height of tourist season, that is not always easy to do. 
      In my early 20's before I was married or when I have been able to get to the Cape on my own a couple of times, my favorite place to just find seclusion has been at Gray's Boardwalk. Either in June or September is the time for the boardwalk, thinking you are going to get much time along for meditation and reflection from mid June through August you have another thing coming. Those months you go for the view and a couples moment to share either a sunrise or a sunset with a bunch of other couples doing the same thing. It's cool but not alone. For these months the places to look for are lonely beaches and climbing up the side of a dune and taking your time with nature. All along Dennis and Brewster you can find some of these lonely beaches, before the crowds starts to arrive. One other place one can get lost at it alone Stony Brook Herring run and the mill pond area. Walking the paths and just allowing the brook to resonate around you as the birds chirp loudly and flutter all around. But when getting away was not an option where can you go, what can you do. Sometimes you just need to take that walk along the beaches alone. Go sit on the park bench at the edge of the parking lot of Sea St beach. Sometimes, being alone just means getting away form your normal surroundings and taking whatever is given you and making a moment for yourself. 
      Have you ever tried going to one of the harbor's early in the morning and just sitting and watching as all the fishing boats go out. What about going to one of the airports like either Chatham or Marshton Mills. Or what about going to one of the Lighthouses that offer spectacular views. The Cape is full of wonderful places if you look to get some seclusion at some point and time of a day. Getting back to a nature and the natural wonders of our Creator has always been a time I have cherished. What about you? Not had some time alone lately, take off for a half hour, hour or if you can a couple of hours and just let the rat race pass you by for couple. The refreshing moment will do you a world of wonder for you both physically as well as mentally and spiritually. 
      Well until that time, if someone would be sure the lighthouse lamp is filled with oil and trimmed for maximum burning power, so that as soon as I am able that beacon is burning bright to guide me home. 
      I am not what one might call a Mac and Cheese connoisseur, but I do enjoy a good batch every now and then and when I do get in on of those cheesy moods, I need to have something that is really good. There are a thousand and one Mac and Cheese recipes, some are great, most of good, then there are some that are just, well, the recipe should have gone with great aunt Fredericka's with they buried her in 1947. Then there are those recipes that are just unique. This recipe I think falls into the simple and and slightly different category. But when it comes down to putting it on the plate it does stand on it's own quite well. So for all you Mac and Cheese lovers, here is another recipe to add to the list, and for all you who aren't so sure, give it a try, you might like it. So without a cheesy joke or pun to put in the pan, here we go with this weeks recipe from the church young mother's group.

      This week's recipe: Nancy's Mac and Cheese

  •       1         cup      elbow macaroni
  •       1         cup      mostaccioli pasta
  •       1 1/2   cups     cottage cheese
  •       1 1/2   cups     sour cream
  •       2                     eggs
  •       3         bags    shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz bags)
  •                             salt and pepper, to taste

      Boil pasta and drain. Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Combine with cooked pasta. Pour into a 9 x 13 dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until edges are golden. 

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