Friday, July 4, 2008

Kids These Days...

I have such great memories of the 4th of July, and all of them involve being on the lake. When we were young, as I've mentioned before, we loved to go to Clear Lake on Sundays. But we also took a week during the 4th of July holiday and rented a cabin at the Methodist Campgrounds with our friends, the Bakers. (I was always very grateful the Methodists didn't mind us Catholics moving in on their territory.)

Mick and Sally Baker have two boys, Andy and Chris... and their small family was inundated with a myriad of Frankls during the week. Not only were there six of us kids, but I often brought a friend or cousin... and sticking with the Catholic tradition there were times when a few nuns or a priest here and there would come along for a little sun. We had so much fun. The cabin we stayed in was big and old and basic. And perfect. We could run around, lounge on the old couches in our swimsuits and eat anywhere we liked. And we ate like no one had ever fed us before, but since we spent the entire week swimming and skiing and playing volleyball, it all pretty much equaled out in the end.

There were staircases leading upstairs on the right and the left side of the cabin, separating the girls quarters from the boys ... and the week consisted of pranks between the two. We weren't all that creative... saran wrap over the toilet kind of stuff... but for kids who never went to summer camp, we thought we were ingenious.

The photo below is of my brother Jim, myself and Andy Baker (yes, I look like a boy with that haircut... I'm aware) building card houses. I sucked at it, but Andy would sit with me and do it every year anyway. He's now a big-wig medical examiner, and I take full credit for making sure he had a steady hand and keen eye. I'll remind him to thank me next time I see him.

Kids these days (I can't believe I'm old enough to say that) don't think a vacation counts unless they are in an airplane, on a beach or at Disneyland... but I wouldn't trade a week at Clear Lake in a run-down cabin for anything. We not only had fun, we were really together and I cherish the memories. I don't think the Methodist Campground exists anymore, but I have to imagine there is still a spirit of fun to the place where we were for so many years.

Happy 4th of July to you all... I hope you are somewhere with your family making memories.


  1. Hello....I discovered your blog because you left the adress at Donna Downey's. I'm not sure why I looked, because I'm quite busy tonight. But something made me look though....and I just couldn't stop. I found your writing very touching, and that was before I wrote the whole story about you. You seem like a wonderful person, and I admire and try so much to hold on to some of the things you write about in your post "kids these days". It's not simple, yet very important. Trying to learn our children some good values. Thank you so much. I'll continue to follow you.

  2. I have very similiar memories of vacations in a "perfect cabin" in Minnesota. I tried to make that happen this year with my own kids and it never worked out. I think I might try harder...even a weekend at a cabin would be wonderful. Oh, the smell of the lake and going to bed with sand stuck to every part!!! Thanks for sharing your made my day.