“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”

Hot, hot day, already 89˚, so I’m lolling in the cool, air conditioned house. I may read, and that’s it for my Sunday list. I don’t want to overdo.

When I was a kid, we didn’t go away most summers. During my father’s vacation, we went to the beach, to the drive-in and sometimes to one of the museums in Boston. The beach was an all day affair. We’d leave in the morning for Gloucester, for Wingaersheek Beach. The water was clear, and the beach went on forever. I liked it best at low tide when the rocks appeared and we swam in the tidal pools. My sisters collected shells. My father swam while my mother stayed on the blanket. My brother and I played near the river. We skipped rocks. My mother always packed the best basket with sandwiches, chips, pepper and egg, cookies and even sometimes cupcakes. We were from the don’t go in the water for 30 minutes after eating generation. We drove my mother crazy asking, “How long?” We packed up and left late in the afternoon.

We went to the drive-in often. When we were younger, we dressed in our pajamas so we could go right to bed when we got home. My father made the bug juice and the popcorn but bought the candy. We never went to the snack bar, too expensive. The theater was in Burlington right off the highway. We’d get a parking space, and my father would pull the speakers into the car and onto the car window. My sisters sometimes fell asleep during the first movie. I lasted until my father pulled which was always before the second movie ended so he could beat the traffic. I hated missing the ends of the movies. I’d watch through the back window and wish I could lip read.

I never felt deprived that we didn’t go away except for that one trip to Niagara Falls. I was sixteen and not so interested in a family vacation and wanted to stay home, but I didn’t have a choice. All in all, though, I’m glad I went as it was an amazing vacation. It was the first time I stayed at a motel and the first time I went to a foreign country, albeit Canada, but it was still foreign. I loved what we saw and did. It is my all time favorite family trip.

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6 Comments on ““Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We went away most summers. When I was younger, we’d spend a week as guests at an uncle’s cottage on a lake or rent a cottage nearby. Later on, my father shared a farm with three other families up in Maine. We’d spend a good part of the summer there working. In my teens, I spent a few summers in Maine haying or doing other part-time field work.

    For us, the drive-in was a frequent family entertainment. We’d be in our jammies, too, and somehow that made it much more fun. The drive-in we went to had a playground set up underneath the screen and we’d play on the swings etc until the movie started and we’d run back to the car. I still remember sitting in the long line of cars waiting to get out of the parking lot after the film ended. Sometimes my father would just wait in the parking spot until the line was smaller. We never left before the end of the movie.

    My mother loved Wingaersheek but only at high tide. She didn’t like having to walk so far to get to swimmable water levels. I loved it at low tide when the tide pools were full of interesting critters.

    It’s hot. We’ve been out a few times for very quick walks around the shady side of the house. Piki Dog and I have walked around the shady side of the house. Rocky plunks down in a sunny spot of asphalt and refuses to move. He’s not a fan of shade.

    Enjoy the day. I think ice cream is required today.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We did stay for weekends at my father’s friend’s cottage in Ogunquit. I hated it. The cottage was so small we couldn’t all bye in at once, the water was cold, and there was nothing to do. I guess those weekends slipped from my memories.

      We also went often to the drive-in. My grandfather had a pass which he let my father use. He never used it himself. I went to the bathroom at a different drive-in than we usually went. I was young at the time. I got lost. My parents heard, “Will the parents of Kathleen Ryan please come to the refreshment stand.”

      My mother never learned to swim so she didn’t really care where we went. We loved roaming that beach. She loved keeping an eye on my sisters while she sat on the blanket.

      I feel the heat when I open the backdoor for Henry to go out. He doesn’t stay out.

      I wish I had some ice cream in the house!

  2. Hedley Says:

    Our summer destination was Bognor Regis and the home of my Grandparents. My sister and I would walk to the local news agent each morning to buy a new comic for the day. The pier had penny slot games at the end and the putting green beckoned.

    Bognor has always been the brunt of jokes since some King yelled “Bugger Bognor” – very rude, but he was King. Every few years I go back, it is sad and demolished from the memories

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I had to look up Bognor Regis. What fun you must have had the slot games and the putting green. The sounds like a perfect spot for a kid’s vacation.

      The places of our past change over time, sometimes only a little, sometimes dramatically and sadly.

      I have a friend who won’t go back to Ghana because she doesn’t want her wonderful memories replaced by what Ghana is like now.

  3. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    My favorite summer vacation was when we drove to NYC in July to visit my grandparents. My dad had air conditioning installed in his 1953 Buick. In those days air conditioning was not standard on cars. The one my father installed had the evaporator in the trunk and the cold air came out of the rear package shelf through clear plastic tubes. On a 100 degree day we could hang meat in that car. 🙂

    We arrived in Manhattan during rush hour and as we creeped through the traffic of the lower east side, people on the streets pointed and laughed at us with our windows rolled up and my mother wearing a cardigan sweater while they were sweltering in the humidity and heat. 🙂

    Yesterday, I was glued to the Smithsonian Chanel reminiscing the amazement of the feat of walking on the moon.

    Another hot and humid day with the high temperature in the upper 90s. Tomorrow a rare cold front is forecast to drop the temperature to the high 80s.

    • katry Says:

      HI Bob,
      I can’t imagine NYC in July, all that pavement, all those buildings. I suspect people who were leaving passed you as you arrived.

      I can see people being mystified by the closed windows. AC wasn’t big in cars back then. Now when I see a car with closed windows, I know they have their car AC cranking.

      I also watched all I could find about the moon landing. I did a Google search and found several programs and watched all afternoon and evening. I was mesmerized.

      It was hot all day here and will be tonight. Tomorrow will get as high as 82˚.

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