Vacations As a Child

When I think back over my life I am amazed that when I was small we had few “vacations.” Our summer drives across hot, dusty Oklahoma roads to the Texas Panhandle was our summer fun. Our mother’s mother, and aunts and uncles all lived in or near Pampa Texas.

Spending time in Pampa or at our uncle’s ranch near Canadian to see the adults who belonged to our family was part of the fun. But playing with our cousins was the best fun each time we drove down there. Tiny, six months younger than me, lived out on my Uncle Fred’s ranch. We hiked, rode horses and played around her house. I don’t remember what my sister did early on, but at some point Hobie’s brother, David came along and was closer to Pam’s age.

Hobie, six months older than I lived in Pampa with Aunt Laura’s family. I mostly remember sitting up in their tree house in the back yard and just talking. Just going to

Pampa to see my cousins was a great treat.

By the time I was a teen-ager I remember three vacations in addition to Texas to see relatives. When I turned 12 years old our family traveled to Kansas City to celebrate.

The only thing I remember about that trip is an embarrassment. The folks my parents were visiting on Saturday afternoon had two or three kids. Their Momma had a real treat for us. She sent all of us kids to the movie (everyone loved movies except me). When I couldn’t stand watching that movie a minute longer I went out and called (long before the phones we carry around now) the Momma who had taken us to the movie. My sister was slightly embarrassed but the other kids were just plain mad at me.

Then when I was 15 our family rented a cabin somewhere in New Mexico. But the trip I remember the most was to celebrate my 16th birthday. My Mom, sister and I drove to Vermont via Washington and New York City. I did a lot of the driving and we had a great time. Our Dad joined us in NY City…and of course he did all of the driving and navigating from then on. My great fun was done.