“It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it’s how you spend the time.”

The weather is crazy. It is sunny then cloudy then sunny again. The humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife (my father loved that old saw. The wording is repetitive, I know,  but what the heck). It is supposed to rain later today and again tomorrow. I have nowhere to go so I’m just fine with rain.

When I was a kid, I loved summer rains. We used to stay outside and get wet, even soaked. The stronger the rain, the more the fun. We’d splash at each other with the rainwater running down the gutters in the street. Sometimes the water ran so strongly it resembled a river with white rapids, or at least it seemed that way to us. Paper boats never had much of a chance. I think my love of the rain came from the joy we felt during summer storms.

We didn’t always go on vacation when I was a kid. Mostly we stayed home and did day trips, what they call a staycation now. I think my family invented that. We kids didn’t care. My mother and father planned great excursions. We did beach days. I remember swimming in water left by low tide and surrounded by sand bars. The sandwiches always had a bit of grit. We’d walk the beach and collect shells. By the end of the summer, I’d have quite a collection.

I remember the museums. They weren’t air conditioned in those days, but they always felt cool, the way my hometown library and post office did. I have two vivid memories of stuff at museums. At the Museum of Fine Arts, I remember the sarcophagi. They were in one giant room and they looked enormous to me. I was impressed and amazed they once all held mummies. At the Peabody Museum at Harvard I remember the outrigger hanging from the ceiling and the ape heads in jars. For some reason those heads fascinated me. They were in rows, jar after jar.

We went to the drive-in often as my grandfather had a pass so our car got in free. Bringing bug juice and popped corn from home and candy from the store made it a fairly inexpensive evening. There were always two movies and an intermission. The first movie was for kids and the second for adults as kids were expected to have fallen asleep by then or why the pajamas?

We’d go out to dinner one night during our stay at home vacation which was such a treat as we seldom went out to dinner. We’d go to Kitty’s in the next town over. It was always busy and cheap enough. I remember the waitresses carrying huge trays with several plates of foods on them. I watched kind of hoping to see plates hit the floor. They didn’t.

It never occurred to me we stayed home because we didn’t have the money for an away vacation. All the wonderful day trips are what I remember the most. I love museums thanks to those trips. I have seashells on display in the kitchen. Our Saturday outside movie nights are like the drive-in without the car but not without the candy.

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8 Comments on ““It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it’s how you spend the time.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Sunny and nice here, just enough warm with a light breeze. It’ll stay like this for a while not but it will be warmer next week. I don’t need warmer but I won’t complain when it comes 🙂

    I can’t remember us ever going out for dinner unless one doesn’t count the nearest hot dog stand 🙂 Or buying pizza to bring home 🙂 but we did go to cafes every now and again.

    I loved going to the Museum of Natural History, they had a stuffed whale there that they used as a cafe during winters. It always smelled rather strange inside the whale 🙂 To me it was huge but I can’t remember how mant tables there were.

    Have a great day!


    • Christer,
      We had sunny yesterday so I guess that is out quota until the weekend. I’m okay with rain as we can always use it in the summer.

      We didn’t go out much as it was too expensive so when we did it was an occasion.Kitty’s is still there and is still fairly cheap. It’s mostly Italian food.

      That is actually sort of neat, a whale cafe. I would have loved that.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  2. alexankarr1 Says:

    I wish I’d appreciated museum visits more as a kid: I was a real little philistine, if it wasn’t TV or candy or comics then I had no interest. Now, the time for a trip to a museum is a treasured luxury. You sound like you were a kid who loved to learn. If only I’d been that open to and willing to take advantage of opportunities!

    • Alex,
      I really did love learning. We had supermarket encyclopedias, and I’d pick a letter and read the entries when I had nothing else to read.

      When I travel, museums are always on my list of things to see.

  3. Bob Says:

    Today was another hot and clear day with a few puffy clouds. You know it’s summer in Texas when the low temperature in the morning is 80 degrees. It didn’t get to triple digits but 97 is close. Thank goodness for AC.

    When I was a kid we took a vacation trip every summer during June until my mother passed away. Usually we drove to NYC to visit the family for a week and then headed down to Miami beach for a week of fun at the beach in a hotel before heading home. In June 1955 we drove to Los Angeles to go to Disneyland the first year it opened and to tour Hollywood. We also spent a few days in Las Vegas on the way home. In those days Las Vegas was much different than today. If you can find a copy of the original version of Ocean’s Eleven with Frank Sinatra and the rat pack you will get an idea of Vegas in the 1950s. I think those were the days when the hotels on strip was run by the mob as depicted in the film Casino.

    Whenever I travel to New Jersey I love to eat in diners. There is nothing like a New Jersey diner. The food is always very good, a huge variety and plentiful. New Jersey has the best diners in the country. I think everyone of them are owned by Greeks. I think there is a Greek diner mafia. 🙂

    • Bob,
      We yad thunder showers today. It got chilly enough I had to shut the doors. It will be in the mid-60’d and damp tomorrow. Next week will be warm, more seasonable.

      Wow, you really traveled as a kid. We never went as far. One summer when I was in high school, we did go to Niagara Falls and the Eisenhower Locks. We stayed at a house on the shore of Lake Ontario. We stayed in motels and ate at restaurants. It was quite the vacation.

      I have never wanted to go to Las Vegas, but I would have liked it back when you went. I think you’re right about the mob. Remember in one of the Godfather movies Michael moved the family business to Vegas.

      There are still a couple of diners not all that far away from me outside of Boston. I love all the comfort food on the menu. I liked anything with mashed potatoes.

  4. Peter Says:

    As you know, I do enjoy your blog. I’m reminded of so many things easily passed over. Keep it up, you have many fans – often silent.

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