Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Vacations


Every year around this time I find a void in my life that has been there for about the last twenty years. The void is from the lack of preparation for summer vacation.

When I was a lad I always knew that sometime soon we would be heading up to the lake in Canada. I would have all the stuff I would needed for the trip cleaned and ready. I would use my kid money to buy extra supplies like hooks, line and sinkers. Then there was the countdown. My entire life revolved around this annual event.

Sometimes we would go up in May, and again in July and again in August. Some years we would only go up for one week. Regardless of when or how often we traveled up there, I always knew we were going.

Even after my father could no longer make the trip due to health problems I made several trips to the lake on my own.

When I was in my 20s I was introduced to another lake in the Adirondacks. This lake was five hours closer than the Canadian lake. I would stay at this lake several times a year. It was always a given that a lake was always in my future every summer.

When I moved out here the tradition ended. Trips here were always more spontaneous. There was little planning. “Hey the weather looks good, let’s go!”

Though my step children are much better traveled that I was at their ages, I feel they may have been deprived of this ritual. There was always a spontaneous, “Lets pack up the skis!” “Pack your bags, we are going to visit your grandfather down on the South Coast!” But there was never the lore of planned in advance Summer vacation. Instead they got to go to Europe, Las Vegas, Alaska, Hollywood and other places. They just took trips instead of building memories through the stability of traditions of family vacations. It’s kind of sad.

7 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

I don't think there's ever been a summer in my life where I didn't "head to the lake." It is a much appreciated and anticipated tradition.
On the other hand, perhaps I should have been doing more of those spontaneous trips.
Still, I've been very fortunate with my annual summer cottage vacations. Can't imagine giving those up (and am currently in the process of "fighting" to keep them).

5:24 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

good god, the little shits are better traveled than lots of us elders.

Summer vacations rock! I haven't had a planned one for many years. However, for the past several years, Uncle B plans an annual campout with a friend and his family near Mt. Hood every year so this year that's what we've been preparing for. And, the planning and the anticipation are part of the fun!

6:17 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I never get to take a real vacation - but I am taking a few days this summer -very planned and have even booked something for next year. Very excited - both places I've never been.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Wherever we lived, I always attempted to plan at least one week at a lake just for the kids. Every kid should grow up having a lake experience every summer if possible. Spontaneous is great, but stability builds great memories.

Up here we see the same folks doing as you and your Dad did, coming back every year and having that special time to just be together.

2:44 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The concept of going to the Lake seems to have a stronger pull East of the Mississippi River. Maybe because there are more lakes or maybe because the summers are more miserable back East. Beth and Mike are right there with their comments and Auntie and Lori are so West Coast. Amazing...

5:19 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

I saw in the paper today that a stay-at-home mom very near me has concocted an all natural body spray that repells blackflies, mooseflies, etc. Made it outta spices and stuff common in most homes she claims. She's starting slow selling it locally. If it catches on she'll be another millionairess. Must believe it's safe as her 5 year old son was her test subject. Makes the stuff in her kitchen.

1:57 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Very cool, so it may be safe to come home again!

5:28 AM  

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