the beaches of Wellfleet you come across some interesting
sights. On the ocean side, I've seen groups of curious seals
sticking their heads out of the water to get a better look at
me. I've watched flocks of piping plovers and sandpipers running
the waves, and on the bay beaches I've discovered a multitude of
colorful and interesting shells.
In all my time walking on our beaches, I have yet to come across
a happy clam.
I thought about this the other day when I was at a local
convenience store. While standing in line, I overheard the clerk
telling a customer about a friend who won $1,000 on a scratch
ticket. "It goes without saying," she said, "that he's as happy
as a clam."
Well, that got the wheels in my head spinning.
After doing some research, I've discovered that nobody has
really been able to discover a way to judge a clam's emotional
state. For all we know, most clams could be spending their days
sulking in their shells. If you take a good look at a clam, it's
really hard to tell whether it is frowning or smiling.
So, how did this curious expression about happy clams find its
way into our language?
I looked into this and found that, somewhere along the way, a
few vital words got dropped from this expression.
Originally, folks used to talk about being "as happy as a clam
at high tide" or "as happy as a clam at high water."
You can certainly understand why clams would prefer high tide to
When the tide is high, clams can rest easy, comfortably feeding
while the clammers and their shovels are stranded on the land.
When the tide goes out, the situation changes drastically. For
the next few hours, they face the chance that their day will be
very rudely interrupted by a person with a shovel and a clam
British scientists recently discovered a clam that was very
successful at eluding this demise. While dredging the
seabed north of Iceland, a team from the Bangor University
School of Ocean Sciences uncovered a clam that they determined
lived to be 405 years old. That would mean that this durable
critter was hanging out on the ocean floor back
when Shakespeare was busy scribbling plays and the Pilgrims were
boarding the Mayflower!
That's longevity that is directly attributable to being in a
Surf Side Cottages, in Wellfleet, aren't as old as that clam but
they've been around for some time. Since they began
accommodating Cape Cod visitors in the 1950's, they have proved,
time and again, that old, real estate adage that the three most
important things a property should have are: "Location,
Surf Side Cottages' longevity is also directly attributable to being
in a good location.
A cottage by the sea is surely better than one located out in
the woods or on Route 6 for a number of reasons.
1. City dwellers spend hundreds of dollars to buy machines
that create "white-noise" to mask the urban sounds so they can
sleep at night.
Here at Surf Side Cottages, there are some nights where the
constant sound of the waves crashing on the shore is nature's
white noise lulling you to some of the most restful sleep you
will experience. I'm not saying that you can hear the surf
from your cottage all the time, but when the sea is "angry" or
just in a bad mood, our guests notice either a constant, dull
roar or a rhythmic crash throughout our colony of cottages.
2. Wellfleet visitors are often heard complaining that after
they have paid $75 dollars to buy a beach parking permit, in
the summertime, they find the beach parking lots filled when
they arrive, leaving them no options but to either wait in their
car or to drive on to look for a spot at another beach.
At Surf Side Cottages, you don't need a beach parking pass,
you don't even need to pack the car since the beach is just a
short walk away.
And even though the beach parking lots close after dark, renters
at Surf Side have "round the clock access" to the beach
and this makes
moonlight strolls and nighttime bonfires on the beach definite
3. Anyone who has been on Cape Cod in the summertime knows
that traffic is a way of life. Obtaining accommodations on
Route 6, or on a side road off of Route 6 simply means that
you and your car will be a part of that traffic
on a daily basis!
A rental cottage by the ocean allows you to prepare your own
meals and avoid experiencing rising restaurant menu prices,
making reservations or waiting in long lines while trying
to convince the children that they will be eating soon.
4. Once you are settled in, you won't need to do anything but
enjoy your home by the sea. Without TV's to "entertain
you" (I use that expression with reservation), families are
forced to find other ways to spend their evenings. Long
lost pastime activities such as conversation, story telling and
game playing replace silently staring at a picture tube or a
flat-panel screen. Someone once said: "The farther
you get away from distractions, the closer you get to each
other." A vacation at Surf Side Cottages will
create memories that your children, and you, will treasure for the rest of