Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer Vacation -- jcarolek

When I was a kid, summers always meant the family vacation. Our destination was the same each year and I always looked forward to it with great excitement. The "Pond House" as it was always known to us was a small three "room" house on a quiet lot on Long Pond, in New Bedford, MA. To call the place "modest" is an understatement. To fathom it was where my father and his then-three siblings lived their early life is almost unimaginable to me. And yet, as a vacation spot, it was ideal..... well, maybe that outhouse thing was not so cool.... and maybe that bathing in the big metal washtub, placed squarely in the middle of the "living room" floor was not so cool.... and maybe having to pump water from the iron handled pump at the sink was a bit more primitive than I'd have liked.... but still, I loved that place.

The pond house holds many memories for me. Fishing with Dad and my brothers was always a treat.

Being taught to swim by being tossed overboard in the pond, well, let's just say I had a mighty big fear of water for a while, and when I reached shore, I let out the loudest and longest belch I can recall....swallowing all that water gave me a bit of indigestion, I think.... Exploring the area and crawling under the house was great sport, right up until I walked on a nail that went through my sneaker and into my foot.... I hate tetanus shots... OK, I'll be honest, I'm not really partial to any kind of shots..

The food was always good... after all, Grampa was a chef, and our vacation at the Pond House ALWAYS included Grampa and Grandma.... usually some of the other uncles, aunts and cousins also vacationed with us, and to say the house was filled to capacity would be to tell a lie.. it was overflowing... the two small bedrooms were for the adults and we kids slept out on the porch... not a problem, of course, unless we had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night... in the dark.... to the outhouse... known to us as the "down below"....

Yes, those were the GOOD times....

I am wrapping up my work week -- looking forward to a week's vacation and entertaining friends and family. I will have guests from out of town visiting, guests from out of the country visiting and I expect we'll have a good time. I am a little sad that, while I DO live in a house in the woods, a house on a pond, I must offer my guests only the most boring of vacation spots... for I have running water, indoor plumbing, bedrooms in which to sleep, bathtubs in which to bathe in privacy, and relatively few nails upon which to impale one's foot... I think I take all the fun out of vacationing!

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