Today in My History

2000: Away We Go to an Island Fair
Little Miss Homemaker Me
What a Difference a Year Makes
Very Bad, Horrible Mother
Walter, the Spitter

2005: Unwanted Surprises
2006: On the Road with a Cell Phone
2007: Speaking out for Gay Marriage
2008: Pass the Tissues
2009: Things You Can't Live Without
2010: Nshuti Yange, Clarisse
2011: It Takes So Little
2012: Misty Water-Colored Memories
Look, Ma
2014: Trivilaities
2015  A Miscellaneous Day
2016: Saturday 9
2017: Sunday Stealing
An Intense Weekend
2019: Photo Scavenger Hunt

Theater Reviews
Updated 3/10

Books Read in 2020
 Updated 10/1
"WATCHING FROM THE WINGS: Fifty Years of Working With The Stars"

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2020
Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

Cast (updated 7/16)

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


October 22, 2020

When our kids were growing up, our family never went on "regular" vacations.  We camped, we traveled to national parks, we did various things, but we never went to a "vacation place."  When we were coming home from Norm and Olivia's last week, we passed by a vacation place that I think was called Verdiers.  It was several small cottages and my family went there (my parents and grandparents, and me--before Karen was born) one or two years.  It's surprising how well I remember it, since I was 4-1/2 when Karen was born and I don't believe we went there after Karen was born.  But the thing I think about whenever I think of Verdiers is how good oatmeal with real cream was.  Even as a toddler, I was into food!

We went to Sunnyside Cottages in Boyes Hot Springs for several years.  It was a collection of six little cottages owned by the Ratto family, where people would come from San Francisco and spend a couple of weeks.

I know that the first year we went was the year I was 6 or 7 because that was the year my mother finally had my Shirley Temple curls cut off.  Each morning my mother brushed out my curls and then formed new curls around her finger.  During the day, the curls would tighten up so that by morning it was terribly painful for her to comb them out.  WE had tears every morning and I finally convinced her that I wanted my curls cut off.  It was so emotional for her, that she had to leave the beauty shop while it was being done and didn't come back until the curls were all gone.  But I was very happy with my new short hair.

We had a small cottage....

I remember that it had an ice box and a man came to bring a block of ice every day or two.  I think by our last year there they had upgraded to refrigerators.  This picture reminds me of one Sunday when we were going to Mass.  My mother got my sister all dressed up and sent her outside while she got dressed herself.  When she went outside, Karen was sitting on the ground pouring dirt over her head.

Boyes Springs was one of the only times I ever rode a horse.  It was too expensive, but I did get to ride once.  This was during my "Black Stallion" fanaticism and I longed to ride a horse like Alec Ramsey, but my horse only walked and I was scared when it trotted. 

My strongest memory is when my mother and a couple of other women went berry picking on the hill across the road and stepped in a hornet's nest. The other women ran down the hill to the creek but my mother was determined not to lose the berries she had picked and climbed up the hill, hornets following her. She proudly said that she didn't lose a berry, though she had lots of stings for her effort! I remember that she had a scarf tied around her head and when she undid the scarf, two hornets few out.

My father built a portable swimming pool to bring to the cottages one year. It was built of wood, with seats at each end, and had a waterproof tarp tied to the sides, so we could fill it with water and at least cool off by sitting in cool water.

This is Karen and me with my father and with Stephen, our San Francisco neighbor.  His family went to Sunnyside Cottages the same time we did.

My mother found another place whose name I can't remember and we went there for a couple of years--again with my grandparents.  The thing that excited me about this new place is that they showed movies at night.  It was during the early years of my Judy Garland fanaticism and I joked with my father about how it would be a Judy Garland movie  ... and when we got there, it was,  They were showing The Pirates, one of my least favorite Garland movies, but I always remember telling my father that he would have to watch Judy Garland.

We stopped going to vacation cottages when Karen and I got older.  I wonder if people still do that today with young kids.  Probably not.  But I do have good memories of our years going to vacation cottages each summer.



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