Hip, hip hurray! The cold winter river of life has changed to the full blown rapid strewn summer river to take us on that long awaited family summer vacation, with endless possibilities of places to go and things to see. As many choices as the flavors of ice cream offered at your local Cold Stone Creamery. You’re slurping!
Say for instance, you are going to have your family summer vacation soon. Bunching up in a car until all the air is used over and over again. Stuffing your 90 pounds of essentials into a 40-pound suitcase and crawling into that big silver bird that sends you zinging across the country or around the globe to see all that there is to see, with family in tow and the dogs and cats at the sitters.
Or maybe the other way around? The vacation when you take pictures that will haunt your family for generations to come. Yes, that vacation.
Well to me that is the best part of summer. I have memories of the campfire popping and an ember burning a hole in the seat of my mom’s pants as she was backed up to that fire. I can smell the fragrance of a nearby outhouse when the wind shifted. I can still feel the tug of fear when while on a hike in Yosemite, us women folk got lost. Then the thrill of relief when I saw the men folk coming over a ridge to save us. I still am not sure we were lost — but it makes for a better story that way.
Growing up to have vacations with my other half had some moments, too. We were on a pier in Mexico when a guy thrust a baby lion into our hands, took our picture and charged us five bucks. I am glad we paid. That picture is priceless.
There were the days when school started that we all had to tell what we did on our summer vacations. Remember? Seems that there were wonderful stories of going overseas and pictures of lands I will never see.
There were kids that told of moving with just one parent due to divorce. Kids that loved to tell of getting a gift of chocolate covered ants from a long lost relative that come to visit (I did not partake in the ants. Yuck!). All of these become part of the river.
Oh there are sand bars alright. We hit a sandbar the year so much was happening that we didn’t go on a vacation. We stuck on a sandbar the year of the terrible accident when my dad broke his back. Then one year the family vacations just stopped happening. No “big thing” happened. It wasn’t announced or discussed. They just stopped.
I wonder sometimes where the last family vacation we went on was to. I don’t remember. But the first one I do remember was when Disneyland opened in the mid 1950s.
We were there in all our family glory staying at a motel that had little animals carved out of the bushes out front. What I remember most vividly was this: It was a time when home movies were just being discovered. Families bought these newfangled movie cameras and loaded these little rolls of film in them and the idea was to capture all those family river flowing moments of fun and frivolity. Ya sure.
Seems that true to form, my father did not read the pages and pages of directions that came with the camera. It was very hot in Southern California in July with a wife and three hyped up little children who wanted it all — right now! He needed to change film. He opened a new roll. He opened the camera and out popped like a thousand feet of 8 millimeter film and two little reels rolled away like the little mice at the tea party on the Alice in Wonderland ride.
I still see dad kaflugaling (sound it out) and grabbing camera, film-both-new and used, the case the instruction book and all and vocally pitching everything into the nearest trash container.
End of summer vacation and the reason there are no home movies of my family! Still the river moves on to this day with new vacations. Enjoy yours.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at email@example.com