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.