Tuesday, 26 June 2018 20:48

Summer Vacations

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Every summer as far back as I can remember, my family went on a car trip to Florida the last week in June and the first week in July. My grandmother (Grangree)’s hat factory closed for those two weeks, and as soon as her work day ended that Friday, we were off on the long ride from Huntington, Long Island (NY) to Florida.

Grangree always took a little velvet purse with her. It was full of change that she had saved all year long, and the money in that purse to paid for gas for the trip. Imagine how much would have to be in that purse today! I have so many wonderful memories tied to those trips. Many of those memories involve being squished and hot in the backseat of the car, but they also involve the summer magic of long family trips. I remember lying in the backseat with my head on Grangree’s lap as she told me stories about her childhood. I remember the first time I saw my favorite movie: “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It was the first night of our trip, and we stopped in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Since the whole family stayed in the same motel room together, I watched the movie with the sound turned way down on the black and white TV. I still remember how wonderful it was to discover that movie.

I also remember being scared, and I regret not talking to the adults about it. In those years, the news was full of stories about a revolution in Cuba and how close it was to Florida. Instead of talking with adults about my concerns, I kept them to myself, and I let my unspoken fears scare me. I even started the habit of sleeping with the head covered in case Cuban soldiers broke into our motel room. It sounds silly now, but it was very real and scary to a little kid like me. That is why I am a big fan of asking grownups to turn off the TV if kids are scared by news stories.

One year Grangree and I flew to Florida alone. I was just 3 years old. I remember how wonderful it was not sharing Grangree with my little brother. I remember screaming on the beach because I saw a monster, and Grangree hurrying to reassure me that wasn’t a monster, but a crab on the beach.

This summer you and your family are going to make memories together. Maybe you’ll go away. Maybe you’ll stay close to home. Whatever you do during these wonderful summer days, stay safe and have a great time!

Read 602 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 21:08