29 March 2011

A Rockport Lovefest



A few weeks ago I received a lovely note from a reader, Janet, who wrote to say...

Jeanne,

I'm feeling a "Rockport lovefest" across the miles!  I'm delighted to hear of your very close connection to this favorite place and think it must be wonderful to have been a Cape Ann girl!  So sweet to hear that your parents met on Long Beach.  I remember sand castles and fun times there, and I still have those beautiful round rocks that line my little "Rockport" garden here at home.  I do hope you will write a post about Rockport and all of its charm....it's such a special place.  Please feel free to share or use any of my photos anytime--I'm just happy to know that you enjoyed seeing them!

It has finally warmed up around here.  Friday is was in the 60's!!  Lots of melting but still lots of snow left.  I'm continuing to think about springtime ....and warm Rockport breezes.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Janet xo



You can imagine my delight at reading this email. Janet does not have a blog but she enjoys following along. I was touched...I still am. Sometimes we write a post and wonder if anyone picks up on the little nuances, the ones that could only be picked up by someone who has been there. On this occasion, Janet was right with me.

Janet sent along these beautiful photos with her note. She is a wonderful photographer and managed to capture the essence of a place I hold near and dear.


 You may be wondering where this little slice of heaven is located. Rockport is located along the North Shore of Massachusetts. It was not my home town but it was close enough.  Rockport is a seaside village. Quiet in the winter and bustling with tourists in the summer. Artists have lived and painted in the areas for years. My mother is one of them with a gallery of her own featuring her paintings and local artisan jewelry. 


The beaches are rocky but the surrounding area more than makes up for it. The town is charming and 
to be honest, it hasn't changed much in the past 30 years. To me, that  is one of it's most endearing qualities.

It is an area that is bound to my heart. Childhood memories bring forth sandcastles along Long beach, searching for periwinkle shells and playing mermaid draped in seaweed. Big family parties filled with great food and lots of laughter, Long Beach Dairy Maid ice cream, fried clams, fresh lobster, clam chowder, enormous soft fluffy beach towels and brightly coloured flip flops swishing along the hot sandy beach.


As a young girl learning to swim, I took my first tumble to the bottom of the ocean floor and recall my father's strong arms scooping me up to safety. My grandparents cottage was our safe haven. The weather worn shingles and softly painted Nantucket grey steps firmly braced by seagull white railings saw me thru childhood to adulthood. I recall being helped up the steep steps in the hands of my grandparents as a child and not to long ago lending my arm to my grandfather as we made our final decent together.



I have brought my family back to Rockport many times over the years. To this day, we still stop in the penny candy store that I frequented as a child. Our little white paper bags in hand, gingerly selecting just the right pieces to savour as we carry on thru the busy seaside streets. I could go on but I will stop and say from one 'Rockport gal' to another, thank you Janet for sending your note, your photos and giving me an opportunity to reflect on a very special time in my life.



Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.

Rockport is the quintessential New England town
and frequently used in movies.
You can see it in The Proposal here
and The Love Letter here

More on Rockport: here

Images by Janet

14 comments:

  1. Well, of course, I loved this! One of my favourite places too. By the way, did you ever see the movie, The Love Letter with Kate Capshaw? I really enjoyed the book... the movie's not quite as good, but it is filmed entirely in Rockport and captures its personality nicely. Definitely worth a look, if you haven't seen it! It will make you want to open a bookshop there! And Edward and I can work for you in the wintertime!

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  2. Yes Pamela, I know the movie...and agree with your review...but wouldn't it be great to own that bookstore!

    Here is the link if anyone is interested in checking it out...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sopUEHnSmk

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  3. Hi Jeanne
    I too love Rockport.. Although I have never been there in person.. I also love it through the funny and quaint film The Love Letter.. and also from another blogger who has posted her shots of this lovely little spot..

    Maybe I will get to see it soon... Have a great week.. PS I finally got around to acknowledging the awards you kindly passed my way.. [tardy me!!!]

    ciao ciao xxxx Julie

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  4. Oh, Jeanne, this is such a touching post! What a treasure Janet is. And how vividly you have been able to call up those old memories. A post to treasure. J x

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  5. it is the greatest little town.

    you need to spend time there.
    you'd go nutz taking snaps.

    xx

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  6. Your experiences remind me of summers at Virginia Beach, Virginia, where all of my family lived(while we were marooned in ocean-less Tennessee!) The nice thing about Rockport (apparently) is that it has not grown into a brassy tourist paradise with high rise hotels filling the beach front and shading the sun from the sand.

    We don't enjoy it any more, so it's nice to see that your little piece of paradise is still a wonderful place to go and remember. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Hola! Que encantador post, llenos de vida y de recuerdos para tí....que bellas fotos de un encantador lugar! Besos, Gloria.

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  8. There is something so healing about the sea and having a place like Rockport to have "roots"...lovely, just lovely. I have been to Cape Cod and thought it was so enchanting and sweet. <3

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  9. Now I am in love with Rockport. You've described it in such a wonderful way that I can almost see it for myself.

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  10. Oh and now you made me want to go! It sounds lovely!! Maybe this summer?

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  11. It sounds (and looks) like a marvelous place to live. I haven't read the book or seen the movie. It would be something very interesting to check out.

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  12. Thank you all for your comments. It has been so nice to receive emails as well on your own personal memories. It is nice to think that I brought a few people down memory lane with me as well.

    A lovely note from Janet who inspired this email was in waiting for me when I got home today....

    Hello Jeanne,

    I am SO glad that I sent those photos to you!! I wish you could have seen my response when I clicked on the Rockport posting....it went something like this: slight gasp, hand cupped over mouth, and then a big wide smile that I swear stretched all the way to Rockport!! I guess you really liked the pictures. I loved reading all of your sweet memories and references to your family....you gave a breath of new life to my old photos. I can't wait to see the next one you do with all of YOUR pictures...you really have to do this, and I will be waiting patiently!

    I have so much more that I want to write you, but it will have to wait since I am watching my precious 3month old granddaughter!

    Thank you for all of your lovely posts and great blog. Will keep in touch.

    Janet xo

    This is what makes blogging so much fun! Thank you Janet :))

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  13. I have never been to Rockport, but have been longing to go. What a charming town! Perhaps this autumn we shall pay it a visit.

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  14. Thank you for your warm and generous post about our beautiful town of Rockport, and also for linking to our local website. We have been blessed to make this our home and raise our two sons here over the past 20 years. We would love to share your blog with our friends. Thanks again. Peter and Karen Webber

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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