I’m not sure about all of you, but I am ready for Fall. Fair to say, I bring an extremely heightened level of expectation to the season. I suppose this is based deeply in the fact that I grew up in New England, which I believe has the most awe inspiring change of foliage colors that anyone could imagine. Fall always meant road trips with my parents to visit our strategically cultivated host of family and friends to enjoy this refreshing recharge of all of our spirits.
First we would head to Martha’s Vineyard for one last summer hooray without all the thousands of tourists. I love this island and because we spent so much time there, I often just envision this when I think of Summer. We also tried to fit in a trip to Castine, Maine to visit my Aunt Jacque and Uncle Norman at the bible camp that they helped run, when they weren’t living in the Middle East as missionaries. Then the next available weekend we would drive to see one of my mothers best friends while growing up, “Aunt” Marijane (who my sister was named after). She lived in Lake George, New York and always planned short but memory filled hikes in the Adirondack Mountains. We also went to a great, local seafood restaurant that had outdoor picnic tables that had to be placed in what can only be described as a HUGE dog kennel to protect your meal from being stolen from dive bombing seagulls. As the cooler air approached, we would visit my Nana & Pop, who ran a seasonal house rental company that rolled up and went to sleep – much like the entire enclave- for winter. I have reels of super 8 movies of my family standing “alone” on the deserted, off season beach across from my grandparents home, flying handmade kites that we worked together making from all the ready to discard vinyl table cloths from summer clam and lobster boils. Before leaving the Cape, it was my job to gather all the pine cones that I could, for decorating for the fall and spray painting for the Christmas tree. The other craft that I did with my Nana every year was to make the “Christmas Trees”, by folding every page of a Readers Digest down and spray painting them silver and gold.
I just reread the beginning of this story and realized how the simple times of my youth are some of my best memories. Sometimes even the travel time was as good as the destination. In the families Volvo was an 8 track player (my younger readers may need to Google this) that my mother shared her love of Broadway play soundtracks with me. I always thought my parents were pretty open minded, because on top of the normal Funny Girl (or anything starring Barbra Streisand) and Fiddler On The Roof, I could recite all the songs by memory to “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
There were definitely advantages to being the late child to much older parents – most of all, having the time to “reset our button” together, after a long hot Summer.