Tuesday, May 28, 2013

That's What Summers Are For

My daughter’s got ‘sophomoritis,’ my wife has ‘substitutitis’ and I am plain tired of work. Summer is coming and for the Dillo family that means travel. The rest of the year our travel comes chunks of two or three days since we have jobs that require availability most of the year, and the teen has classes. It’s instilled in us from birth; summer is the time to travel.

The family I grew up in took two road trips that I vaguely remember; one up to Canada and one south down through Baja California. My sister can remember a number of incidents which occurred on these trips. I don’t remember much (even now)---which is why I take pictures. I remember a mish-mash of things; Senor Frogs restaurant, my mother having to stop often as she was on diuretics, our car overheating (I think this happened on this trip---it happened often) and a big statue on a significant parallel (the 28th?). Beyond the road trips we spent one or two weeks each summer in Big Bear at a cabin owned by my fathers’ childhood friend.

Ironically my father never accompanied us on our trips to Big Bear. To this day I’m not certain why. One might think that this would make the Big Bear trips bittersweet but these were rich times made richer by their recurring every summer---and one winter trip which taught me that one man sleds were best not ridden in a group. The summers were spent walking into town with two or three rolls of nickels and spending the day in the arcade playing Skee-ball and miscellaneous other games. Higher scores in the games meant the machines would spew forth tickets which could be traded for prizes at day’s end. I had quite the collection of small furry plastic animals (not stuffed animals) each with a name of their own.

We’d walk back home at dinner time before the streetlights went on. Free of rolled nickel we carried our prizes in bags or pockets so they wouldn’t fall if the walk turned to a run or a race. After dinner the day would end but we’d get up again the next day and spend it hiking or playing or shooting more Skeeball. School and home were a dream we’d return to some day but today was a day to play and be a kid. That’s what Summers are for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man, that brings back memories. My family used to spend a week or so every Summer at a rented cabin in Lake Arrowhead and I spent tons of time (and probably tons of tokens) playing Skeeball at the arcade, too!