Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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Ah, The Memories...

sun Pictures, Images and Photos
Summer. The school aged child's version of heaven. Visions of epic vacations, pool time, and school-free days dance around in their cute little heads long before that last school bell rings. For parents though, it's a little different. We dread the lack of schedule which comes with school days.  We scramble around to keep the monsters entertained, so they won't beat the life out of each other out of pure boredom.

We pay for summer camps, swimming lessons, sports clinics, movies, and other activities. If the checkbook allows it, sometimes there's a vacation mixed in there somewhere.

I remember a vacation we took when I was a child, in fourth grade, to be exact. I'll be 37 this September, and I still remember that two weeks clearly and with fondness. We lived in Southern California at that time, and we took a trip in a really old motor home that belonged to my grandparents. I'd love to be able to post a picture of that monstrosity but... I called my Dad at work to see what kind it was, and it turns out it was a custom built motor home on a GMC chassis. Oh, well. Suffice it to say, it was big, it was orange, and it was... old.
Clothespin Redwood Tree Pictures, Images and Photos
We camped at the Redwood Forest, took a picture of me and four of my siblings standing inside a huge burnt out tree, and we messed around in Solvang. My brother caught a 12 inch rainbow trout along the way, that my mother turned into Trout Almondine for dinner. We took a tour through a submarine. At least once on that trip, one end of the top bunk in the motor home fell down (while me and my sisters were in it) while we were driving, causing my father to pull off at a rest stop and fix it.

Mom taught us "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost until we could all repeat it from memory. That was my first exposure to poetry and I thought Robert Frost sounded magical. I can still recite a few lines, but not many. The best part? It was during the school year. I got to show my class assorted bits of rubbish like pine cones and postcards as a "report" when I returned.

I guess my point is, I've been thinking. What memories have I given MY monsters that will last 28 years? My parents are brave, BRAVE people. I am far too scared to take all 7 monsters on a two week road trip. I can already imagine the fights, the complaints, the whining, and the moaning. It makes me want to go to bed and pull the covers up over my head. But ya know what? When I called my Dad just now, while he was working and said, "Hey Pappy, what kind of motor home was that , that we took on The Two Week Vacation?" And he knew exactly what I was talking about.. and even chuckled. Now THAT, addicts... THAT is the stuff families are made of.  I'm sure their memories of that vacation are much different than mine, and that they remember squabbling and other assorted unpleasantness,like trying to make us kids do our school work every day. Me? I remember my mother eating ( and nearly choking on) a meringue cookie from a bakery in Solvang, and getting wind chimes made of musical notes from a shop there. She still has them.

We went to Disneyland several times when I was a kid, even when I was older,  and I don't remember ANY of those trips, other than knowing we went. It's all about the family time, people.  The quality stuff we do together.

And I... I took the road less traveled by~ and that has made all the difference.
Images in this post by Photobucket, of COURSE!

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