“The family is always the family but during vacations it is an extended family and that is exhausting.”

They’d be cornToday is another dreary day, cloudy and damp. Movie night is postponed as it may rain and the deck is still wet from the rain yesterday. Tomorrow night we’ll be watching Gunga Din and munching appies and assorted movie candy. We pause for bathroom breaks.

My old MAC is totally defunct. It needs a new fan, a new battery and a new hard drive. May it rest in peace.

The house next door is rented this week. A car is in the driveway, and I can hear their voices. They have a kid or two.

I went to the library this morning. Traffic was bumper to bumper even on the back roads. I dread the rest of my errands as I have to go on main roads. Beaches are empty on days like today so tourists take to the main roads to find something to do and souvenirs to buy.

We never came to the cape when I was a kid. If we were going away, we went north. My father’s friend had a place in Ogunquit, Maine. It was a tiny cottage in a row of side by side tiny cottages. There was a small kitchen with a table and chairs, and there were beds, lots of built-in beds. We never slept one to a bed as there were too many of us. In one room were two sets of three bunks. It was like a couchette on a train.

The Maine water was so cold only my father went swimming. He used to body surf. We’d go at low tide and try to catch the small swift fish in the tidal pools. We’d walk the dunes. I remember my horror at seeing naked people sunbathing among those dunes. Meals were mostly catch as catch can except for dinner which was usually hot dogs or burgers on the grill. They’d be corn on the cob and sometimes potato salad. The informality of the meals was part of the vacation.

When I reached my mid-teens, the last thing I wanted was a family vacation in close quarters with nothing for anyone my age to do. My father had to threaten me with dire consequences if I continued moaning and complaining. I used to pout with all the teenage angst I could muster.

The last family vacation I remember was the one to Niagara Falls. I was sixteen that summer. Woolworth’s was a summer away.

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10 Comments on ““The family is always the family but during vacations it is an extended family and that is exhausting.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    We’ve had a really nice day all day here but tomorrow they say we’ll get rain. Yesterday they predicted sunshine all day so one can wonder if they might be drunk when they do these predictions šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ I don’t mind the rain though since we do need it. Too bad that it most certainly will make the grass grow šŸ™‚

    We mostly went to relatives if we did something and later on I went with my friends to their summer cottages instead. It was when I was with them I realised how delicious food actually can taste šŸ™‚

    Have a great day!


    • Christer,
      I had to chuckle at your reference to your mother’s cooking. Luckily, my mother was a wonderful cook.

      Tomorrow we’ll have sunshine so our weekend is opposite yours. Moist days the predictions seem to be correct. My lawn just got cut so it has plenty of room to grow!

      Have a great weekend.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We went north, too, but to the lake so no problems with cold Maine ocean water. An uncle had a cottage on one lake and my godparents had a cottage on another lake. We would stay with the uncle and family in their cottage which was small and equipped with many places to sleep. I slept out on the porch on a roll away. It was cold and wonderful.
    We did not stay with the godparents but rented the cottage next door to theirs. It was small but there were just the five of us and the cat so no problem finding some place to sleep. I still slept on the porch.
    The summer before I turned 12, I refused to go on vacation to the godparents’ lake. There was nobody for me to hang around with except their son and my brothers and that was too horrible to contemplate. I couldn’t bring my best friend, either. I must have presented a cogent argument because they let me stay home alone for that week. It was great. I behaved, though, because Mrs. Calore (aka The Eye of God) would tell my parents everything I did. And she somehow saw everything you did.

    Today was murky again. Not particularly cold, though. I did a farmer’s market run and then somehow lost all my energy to do anything else. So I didn’t. šŸ™‚ The sun came out a little while ago and it got hot so perhaps tomorrow will be back to summer.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • Hi Caryn,
      I like lakes. Going to Maine was not my favorite vacation but it was free, and the owner of the cabin had been my father’s friend for years. They were the same people who lived on the parade route in Wakefield.

      I would have loved being left alone, and I wonder why my parents never suggested I could. Maybe they were afraid my brother would want to stay too, and he wasn’t all that trustworthy, and we didn’t get along well. I would have been fine.

      We finally have some sun after the same murky day you had. It I was surprised to see all the sun at Fenway.

      I went to Agway for mostly dog food and litter then I went shopping for ingredients for the appetizers for movie night tomorrow. I also needed bread and coffee, probably the first item on my list. The traffic was weekend heavy.

      I turned on my AC when I got back as the house was damp. I guess tomorrow will be a far better day, and the summer will be back next week.

      Have a great evening too!

  3. flyboybob Says:

    When I was a kid in NYC the family vacation was spending July and August at a bungalow colony in the Catskill Mountains. Sullivan County was home to many famous resort hotels and bungalow colonies where people could rent a cottage to escape the heat and humidity of the city. My father would move us up to a bungalow colony near Monticello New York. He would spend his two week vacation after July 4th and we would stay through Labor Day. He would go back to NY to work and drive to our bungalow colony on weekends. My mother had a small kitchen and would cook for us.

    Many of the larger places had entertainment and they hired young actors, comedians, dancers and singers to act as camp counselors for the adults during the day and provide entertainment in the evening. The area became known as the ‘Borscht Belt’ because so many Jewish people went there because the hotels served copious mounts of kosher food. Some of the famous people in show business who got their start in those places were Woody Allen, Milton Berle, Joey Bishop, Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar and lots of others. Some of the well known resorts in the area included The Concord, Grossinger’s, Brickman’s, Brown’s Hotel, Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club and the Nevele.

    Today it rained all morning and in the afternoon the sun came out but we had a relief from yesterday’s high temperature of 100F degrees.

    • Bob,
      I’m figuring your family had far more money than mine did as you had amazing vacations. I knew one family near us who spent the summer on Martha’s Vineyard where a family member owned a house. They’d pack up in late June and come back in time for school. I was so busy in the summer with all the things I was into that I never envied them their time away. I hated leaving to go anywhere in the summer.

      I have heard of the Borscht Belt and all of the Jewish comedians who got their starts there. I wish I could remember where it was on line, but I once found a great few pages about one of the most famous resort hotels with many outbuildings. I found it interesting.

      The sun finally did come out out here, but it was late afternoon. I have my AC on, but I do need to check to see if I still need it. Tomorrow will be the start of a week of warm, summer weather.

  4. flyboybob Says:

    We didn’t have much money but I don’t think the bungalows were very expensive. My mother still had to cook and clean the place. However, there was a lake and a swimming pool as well as a tennis court. More importantly it was located in the mountains and was not has hot or humid as the city.

    The hotels were very nice and fairly expensive. My father took my sister and I to Grossinger’s for a week when I was in Junior High. They fed us three meals daily and you could order as much food as you wanted. The place had both an outdoor and an indoor pool and live entertainment in the evenings.

    • Bob,
      That is really neat that you got to get away though mothers never do seem to get a vacation if the family rents a place. I’d have enjoyed staying on a lake. I do love beaches but am not thrilled with salt water.

      We stayed in motels one vacation, never a hotel. That had to be a special treat!

  5. Jay Bird Says:

    Same here with summer vacations: Maine, the Cape or Connecticut on the Sound. My father hated fresh water. The ocean water was always so cold, I never learned to swim until I was 30 (at a friend’s warm pool in Virginia). Last time I vacationed in Maine (Wells Beach) in ’95, the only people in the water were a few hormonally-deranged teen-age boys. Sea temp. was 55*. I still prefer salt water vacations.

    • Jay,
      I thought my father was amazing for body surfing in freezing water. The tidal pools were always warm, and they were it for going in the water in Maine.

      My father taught us all to swim. My mother never learned to swim. She tried when she was an adult to take lessons at the Y pool but she hated them and never learned. I think she was afraid of the water. We all loved it.

      One year we stayed on an island in Maine. My dad would row us over to the beach across from the pier and as we got close, we’d jump in theater and swim to the shore. I must have been crazy.

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