Dear Reader,

My great, great, grandfather, John Hopkinson of Reading, Massachusetts, purchased a lot on Drummer Cove in South Wellfleet in the 1880s. He moved a railway supply shed to the property, intending to use it as a hunting shack. Over the years the structure was awkwardly added onto and became a summer house, and in the 1970s my grandparents, Leonice and Warren Seyfert, had it winterized and retired to the home year-round.
I lived with my mom and two sisters in Denver and eventually Milwaukee, and without fail we visited my grandparents in Wellfleet for two weeks every summer — the best two weeks of the year. The highlight of our trip was spending time with Mrs. Andl, a sweet old widow who lived next door. We loved to visit Mrs. Andl because our grandparents were kind but very strict; children were meant to be seen and not heard. We had to be on our best behavior at our grandparent’s house, but we could relax at Mrs. Andl’s. We played Pollyanna and Yahtzee (hence the importance of the game cabinet in the novel), and we loved it when she pointed out architectural details and shared house lore.
Our first stop each visit was to the library when it was in the Town Hall. We’d fill brown bags with books and read voraciously. We even had reading competitions. In addition to reading, I went square dancing on the town pier, attended summer camp at the Wellfleet Audubon Society and day camp at the recreation center on Mayo Beach. I attended shows at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater and visited every pond and beach in the area.