Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mama Kat's ...Writers Workshop

Mama Kat's pretty much famous Writers Workshop.

List 13 things you like about vacation:

Since I'm a stay a home mom one would think I'm on vacation always, and yet I could use a couple of extra days in the week.  We aren't a family that goes away anywhere, no cottage no camping no fishing.  When my boys were very young and my husband worked night shift our vacation time consisted of me going to stay at my moms.  The boys had a great big yard and dogs and cats and birds to visit, and sticks and stones and cousins.  Their mother, me, on the other hand usually spent that "vacation" doing windows and floors and stuff outside that she couldn't fit into the day during the winter months. Now on the other hand the boys got to be with their grandmother and aunts and cousins and friends. So whiles sometimes, often I was drop dead tired, these are my favorites:

1.  Daniel went to camp when he was 5 with my nieces who were camp counselors.  There was an adventure.  He had gone out into the swamp area of this camp looking from creatures and brought back six or seven inches in his boots. Swamp water.
2.  On Tuesday nights my brother in law played baseball, so Daniel went with him, remember he's 4 or 5 years old.  Apparently the men liked him, he felt he could coach, the guys indulged him, and I remember at the year end barbeque one of the guys said he told him, " if we had any more guys on the bench I'd pull you, you're not playing well at all tonight." Hmm. P.S. must ask sister A if she's done a scrapbook of baseball team pictures?
3. One year we were there for more weeks than I can count, not sure why, so we actually got to see Ryan, my friends son, play baseball many times.  He was a hopeful for professional baseball, things didn't work out that way, but it was great to see him play.
4. Once my sister Barb's kids were old enough we headed out to Marineland, where I might add my niece of maybe 3 decided she wanted to swim with the fishes.  They have this very unclean pond there with large carp and no barriers, just bumpy rocks,  the two of us just caught her in time, in a flash she would have been wet and fish food.  Needless to say she got strapped in to her stroller for the remainder of the adventure, while we recuperated from our heart attacks. 
5.  Another year Daniel decided he wanted an aquarium with frogs.  I was extremely reluctant, so we spent the summer visiting every pet shop we could, doing research on these creatures.  In the end I caved, and we had frogs, it was like camping all year round, they croaked only at night and we fed them live crickets.  The frogs would often escape, as did the crickets.  We didn't know if they were male or female, so when one would leave we would have to assume we had two of the same gender and they didn't want to be together, we'd find the frog someplace close to the door to go outside stuck to something, like under the counter, you can imagine my skreetch at that one.   After the second one died, I refused to replace him, and Daniel had no choice but to give up.  I always knew he'd have an aquarium in his own place  and he does, not sure what's in it, "it's a don't ask, don't tell," kinda thing.
6.One summer I had asked the boys what they'd like to do for a vacation.  Amazingly they didn't want to go to Disney World.  They wanted to go to the Wye Marsh they had seen snipets on their nature shows and wanted to check out what Roger Klein was talking about, Sasha of course wanted to spend the night in a hotel and eat pizza in bed.  We did that and ended up on a dig and a couple more outdoorsy places.  We made Andy go first,through the marsh, we figured any snakes or other creatures we met on the trail would be too busy eating him and we could get away.  (Andy's a big meal) .
7.  We traditionally did a Niagara Falls run with Janice and her boys, (this was before the casino) it seemed during tourist season there would be some special show or something and the kids loved it.  We took a picnic and ate on the grass. Sometimes we'd stop for worms for the worm farm Daniel always wanted. Sasha would get fudge.
Nurse Donna in celebration of Nurses week.
Sometime in there, my sister Donna, the nurse, got hounded by Daniel for a job, and in his very enthusiastic conversations with her, she mentioned she had a pond.  She told him to just dig a big hole and fill it with water, well we all know there's a little more to it than that, so Daniel started to dig, me being concerned he'd dig a big hole and leave it for me... helped.  Sasha my inside guy, stayed inside and answered the phones.  We started digging June 30 and the pond opened August 29th.  Dirt and stones everywhere. I might add it's been revamped several times in the 15 years, but still there.  this was the harshest winter for it, we lost all our plants and fish.  I always told Daniel when we sell this place we'll be giving his # to the folks that buy it so they could get him to fill the big hole.
9.  As the boys grew and our lives got more scheduled, my husband didn't work nights any more, my brother in law stopped playing baseball and my brother and his wife lived with my mom, we didn't spend as much time as before.  I'd be going down myself to help out, while they were at summer jobs or summer school or some such, not my favorite time.
10. As you have assumed Sasha is not my adventurous one, he didn't even want to be outside, ever.  One day when I needed to be out there in the garden and he was not wanting to play out there, I couldn't leave him indoors by himself, so I simply locked the doors and forced the issue.  He sat on the front porch crying, Mrs. Von B a teacher drove by and wonder if something horrible had happened, and when I looked up out of the bushes and shocked her, she laughed and laughed and laughed.  I still have to force him to enjoy the outdoors, "enjoy" being the punishment.  When he started working at the Home Depot garden center I thought he'd die.  
11.  The summers now are downright boring.  We work, we garden, we work some more.  The only good thing is we don't have to wear boots and shovel snow.  
I always assume vacation is in summer, for me it always was. Long before I was a wife and a mom, I was a girl.  As such, I can only remember playing baseball on our front lawn with my sisters, or being ever ender in skipping.  My mom never had to worry about us being outside, there was little we could do in our yard, we were almost country, farm fields across the street, dirt road with maybe one car and a tractor occasionally drive by.  Our outfield was not official I'm sure, the blue spruce was homeplate, the two cedars were 1st and 2nd base, and I think maybe the lilac was third.  You can tell I like baseball, even though I grew up with oskee wee wee...
12.  One of the other great things about summer was going to the beach, we lived not far from Lake Ontario.  Barb and I would walk down the street, walk through the hydro field and cross the highway, YES, cross the highway and we were at Vanwagners Beach.  We lay in the sun and eat cucumber sandwiches, (because we didn't do the cooler thing at that time and anything else would have spoiled,) no bottled water, maybe some ice tea, my mom made us in a thermos, no sun screen, we stuck to Vaseline or baby oil. We'd stay the day and then when our dad was coming from work we'd wait on the off ramp and he'd pick us up.  Sometime we'd buy fries and Hutches, but really rarely.  
13. I do have to wrap us here on this one, As you can see we didn't do any outrageous adventures like swimming with dolphins or jet skiing, or bungee jumping, heck we didn't even do the CNE until I was a married woman, we just enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine and the company of everyone we loved, we didn't need to spend $100s of dollars, we didn't have, and yet I don't feel like I missed out.  I don't know that I have said anything more than a bunch of memories of vacations, or what I considered vacations, because for me the unscheduled days of summer are what are my favorites.

Photo Hat Tip B. Iannuzzi (Barbie)


Annie said...

I enjoyed reading this Irene. The simple things in life are always the best aren't they?
Or is it the case of the olden days were best?

It is good to write down the memories though, isn't it?

Parabolic Muse said...


Love this. Thanks for sharing.

Jenny said...

This was a nostalgic read for me. Summers have always been simple times at our house too, dear Irene. We have never taken traditional vacations but rather slipped away for a day or two as we could afford the time and money. As a result we'd all rather see a beach sunset or sit reading on a mountain-house deck surrounded by whispering pines, than spend thousands on some commercial tourist scene. Your summer days at the shore with your sister sound idyllic. xoxo

National Pet Day...

This is our pet cat, he lived with us for 18 years, adopted from a shelter, best cat ever. RIP Keahan