The above photograph most likely took place during the pandemic of 1918-1919 – or the Spanish Flu. I wonder if this family was about to venture out on a summer vacation.
When summer comes to mind, I have wonderful visions of family vacations growing up and when I was raising my own family. My childhood meant spending the summer at my grandparent’s farm or at another relative’s home on a lake. Both places provided me with memories that live on today. Those memories shaped who I would become as a woman.
When my children were growing up we had many adventures in the great outdoors. Since I had very little experience with tent camping, every one of those vacations was more than an adventure for me. The road trips themselves brought a whole new meaning to singing in the car, separating dirty clothes from clean and preparing meals over an open fire. I was stubborn. That bit of Irish in my background always surfaces when I’m placed in an uncomfortable position. Still I made compromises until the children were old enough to do some of the harder tasks involved.
We would sing in the car as we passed beautiful scenic landscapes. Songs from my past like “B-I-N-G-O,”99 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL,” and “KUMBAYA.” When those ran out we sang theme songs from television shows – “THE FLINTSTONES,” “THE LOVE BOAT,” etc.
I have to admit the opportunities while camping kept me constantly on my toes. One night, as we traveled with our first two kids, a tornado went through our campground. The rains poured and the winds blew. Paul went outside in his underwear to secure the tent as I pushed from the inside to help hold it in place. Through it all our children slept peacefully. I guessed if this was the way it would be from then on, I could handle camping.
I never became a pro in that area. The kids still traveled with dad on camping and fishing trips as they got older. Our youngest daughter chose the life I did and we went shopping instead.
Making adjustments, adapting and working through difficult situations can be difficult for us. This year has given us the most unusual set of circumstances. However, we humans have the ability to rearrange our lives to match up to our current world. We have to.
I can’t imagine wearing a mask in the ocean, or standing outside a food truck – six feet apart from others. I don’t want to think about social distancing. I’m very resistant to all the restrictions, but then I don’t have anywhere to go this year. I don’t have the funds to pay for a vacation – I’ve given up on road trips with my “road warrior” husband – so I’ll do what most Americans are doing this summer. I’ll stay home.