Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


It's the middle of the summer and some people have already taken a vacation and others are going to go somewhere in the few weeks left before school starts -- which isn't the end of summer, at least not where we now live.

When I was growing up, one week vacations were a rarity, at least in my neighborhood. 

My family rarely had a vacation.  My father was absent from the pulpit one Sunday a year and that was to speak at a Bible conference in North Jersey.  He left the family at home, and the vacation we had was a week without daddy, and that wasn't a vacation, certainly, for my mother.

During that week, however, we went to the shore with Uncle Joe and Aunt Annie for one day of fun in the sun; or we went to visit Aunt Annie at her house in Springfield, PA for a couple of days.  My sister and I absolutely loved the room in which we were placed.  It had a double bed in it, but it had VENETIAN BLINDS. 

I know lots of you are saying, "So what?"  Well, we had a blast with those blinds (we had shades in our house).  We would raise them and lower them, or change the slant of the blind to allow us to get the most light in the room.  And...

The room had a DORMER.  That was our little playhouse.  We played with our dolls in that part of the room and we didn't really want to go outdoors to play, even though it was pretty warm in that upstairs bedroom.

My mother and brothers had the room across the hall, which was larger, but didn't have the dormer.

One year someone gifted our family (without my father who was at the Bible Conference in northern NJ) to a week at a Bible camp in Maryland -- they sent me to the girls' camp.  I hated it.  I was sure no one liked me because I was there for only a week and the others in my cabin were all there for the whole summer.  I finally had my mom pull me from the camp about the fifth day, when there was only one left.

The two years I was a camp counselor I paid close attention to the girls who might feel left out or who were very homesick and I tried to make them happy.

After I married, because my husband and I had so little money, we spent our vacations at "home" with my mom and dad, taking a day to go to the shore, or taking the train into Philly to visit the sites there.  One year we lost my son.  He was five.  But, he found a policeman, and was reunited with us quickly.

One year we were invited to spend a week with Alan's aunt at Lewes Beach, DE.  That was a great vacation.  Very sandy.  She and I canned green beans and Alan took the children to the beach.  That was okay with me, since I was able to take enought canned goods home to keep us fed for quite a bit

Are you thinking you don't get a vacation?  Take day trips.  They add up, and they are inexpensive.  There are so many free things to do no matter where you live.

This is a picture of the family in 1978, two years after we started traveling from Cincinnati to Runnemede at least one time a year, encountering massive traffic jams on the PA Turnpike (nothing has changed there) and I won't even go to the Schuylkill Expwy traffic, although it wasn't as bad back in the late 70s and early 80s as it is now.

Phil was 9, Cyndi (between Alan and me) was 5, and Becky was 7.  Aren't the kiddies cute?



1 comment:

Lori said...

I LOVED Aunt Anne's house and we would stay in the room with the dormer window too. It was my favorite!