Posts in Cape Cod


published by Fran Shea

Cape Cod 2016 is (so far) drama AND cage-free. Wait, we did lose one member of the party searching for the water shut-off valve in the cellar.

Cellar doorBen in cellar

He was brave and will be missed.

More importantly, we never found that shut-off valve! One life wasted.

But we must carry on, he would have wanted it that way.Rocky and ApolloThe very next day was filled with so much splashing and laughter and sunscreen, I’m sure Ben was looking down on us and giggling! Oh, how he’d giggle!Edmund and Steve MarconiAND here’s a little thing from The Boston Globe about Millennials’ loving PAPER greeting cards. DUH.

Gin & Tonic & Optimism

published by Fran Shea

I’ve observed the greedy, groping limbs of an Octopus on television.


I SEE YOUR SELF-INDULGENT, FLESH-LIKE, SUCTION-COVERED BOUGHS, BUMPING ALONG THE OCEAN FLOOR.birthday cake octopusSea Creatures are on my mind because I’m back in Barnstable. 29 freezer road door.IMG_6598Ah, Barnstable. How is it possible for the sunsets to always fill me with awe, the hammock to always fill me with peace, and people to always fill my belly with booze on the deck overlooking the Great Salt Marsh?deck marsh chair.IMG_6670IT’S A TOUGH LIFE.

Deja Vu

published by Fran Shea

We bought our house on the Cape in 1982…mom  1982 29 freezer road

this was the same year that The Go-Go’s penned their masterpiece.

Coincidence?? I THINK NOT.

Summers on the Cape were filled with so much adventure! There were trees to climb, sea-creatures to discover, rocks to paint (it’s complicated), and cans to return for 5¢ — imagine returning an ENTIRE BAG of cans. Your very own money to spend on candy at the Barnstable News. I dragged a garbage bag of empty cans up Millway, past the dead bodiescemetery sideto claim my prize. I did not anticipate this being such a great windfall… The Adult behind the counter counted all of my (mostly beer) cans (thanks Uncle Gary!) and the total staggered me.

“Two dollars and thirty-five cents.”

I gasped.

I walked past the wall of candy, right to the freezer full of ice cream treats. One box of six ice cream sandwiches, all for me. ALL FOR ME!!ice cream sandwichI was a girl on a mission: Eat all six, share with no one, and never breathe a word of this to any of my siblings. nat em zak fran andy 2815 west 28thI held the package to my (boyish) chest, and ran until I was sure I was alone. Across the street from the cemetery, and next to an abandoned house, I ripped open the box and started eating. 1…2…3… still going strong… 4… slowing down… 5… Five! Only FIVE! What a failure! 

I staggered home, and benevolently offered the final sandwich to my little brother. (What a fool he was for not even questioning my backstory!)

Present day: Southwest Airline’s Boeing 737: 40,000 feet.southwest airplane windowI made these:look at meTHANKTH

July: Barnstable County

published by Fran Shea

Would a plate-smashing scene make this trip more authentic? Maybe. Oh, but here we are bored out of our minds…kids jumping off sandwich boardwalk bridgeIt’s tiresome, really! Just ocean, ocean, ocean… day in and day in wavesAnd nobody even documents my joie de vivre! Sadly, I must document myself.fran medusa hair selfie cape codJen sent me her selfie all the way from Zeichen Press Headquarters:generous regurgitation

Vacation Drama

published by Fran Shea

Jen has been toiling away at Zeichen Press Headquarters and I have been thinking about her toiling away at Zeichen Press Headquarters.

It’s hard for me to think about that when I am so busy staring at the ocean.shore-sandwich

kids-ocean-wellfleetthis-too-shall-pass-meanwhileI also took the time to create this:

(I’m a giver.)

But I did make her a card.

(I hope she doesn’t really want me to help though.)real-dry-horseshoe-crab-copySo I think that makes us even.

Pilgrimage Part XXXI (Return to Brigadoon)

published by Fran Shea

The pilgrimage to Cape Cod was like a lil’ slice of Purgatory and I wept with joy as we pulled into the driveway. I also wept when we discovered the house-mascot had been murdered in cold blood.mouse-ratWho would do such a thing?

Don’t worry, everything else was in order:

The boats are in the harbor.

lucy-millwayThe hydrangeas are blue enough.hydrangeas-and-rosesAnd the dead people are still dead.cemeteryPHEW!


We want to be more than just friends with: Yankee Ingenuity (Chatham)

published by Fran Shea

Yankee Ingenuity -> 525 Main Chatham, MA 02633

ANOTHER profile in that special series dedicated to bringing our readers biased reviews of shops that carry our goods.

I love a Main Street.

Someday, I will criss-cross this great nation in my (fictional) pick-up with my (fictional) Pocket Pomeranian and my (fictional)) beat-up Polaroid — snapping photos, capturing the quirkiness, the uniqueness, of each Main Street. These will make a great coffee-table book. A companion to my (fictional) Public Bathrooms Across America Book.

The Queen of Main Streets is in Chatham, Massachusetts. Cape Cod. New England’s Main Streets look like movie sets and Chatham’s Main Street is so adorable it should be wrapped in a blanket and burped.chatham-main-street-map

Yankee Ingenuity carries Zeichen Press cards, so it seemed polite to pay them a visit.yankee-ingenuity-andy(Notice my friend, Andy. Notice his t-shirt.)

Once inside, my Attention Deficit Disorder became acute and I put on my horse blinders.

I made my way to the counter and had a nice chat with the owner — she told me that her husband (an amputee) LOVES:i-miss-youI bet because of the tricorn hat.

There were so many delightful treasures — here are a few that jumped out at me:yankee-ingenuity-food-face

I would like a set of eight.


yankee-ingenuity-puppetsA shark puppet would help me work through my fears.

yankee-ingenuity-banksThese little banks would help me save for my criss-crossing America road-trip.

That was fun. I mean, that was hard work. Do I have to hate something to write it off as a business expense?

Unseasoned Traveler

published by Fran Shea

There were three things needed for airplane travel with a group of (Shea) children (in the 1970’s):

1) Hubba Bubba

2) Mad Magazine

3) Air Sickness Bags

I don’t think there was ever a flight that didn’t involve one (or more) of us vomiting. Because of this, we quickly located our air-sickness bags in the front seat pockets before seat belts were even fastened.

My parents pretended they didn’t know us.

It was shameful (and a relief) to hand your vomit-filled bag to the stewardess. In those days, the airline logo was proudly emblazoned on each bag. But no more. Today, the bag is white! Who wants to throw-up in a white bag?

Not me.

I designed a bag that I can’t wait to get in front of the bigwigs at SunCountry. They’ll love it.


Our #1 Fan just joined us on The Capefran-andy-cape-cod-smallerand I’m so glad he’s not a serial killer. He’ll be here for a few days and then we’ll have to say goodbye. I really, really hate saying goodbye. I hate it so much, I made a card:purple-goodbye