Friday, July 27, 2012
Column: Just add water
Today's vacation brings back memories of Tomorrow
Summer is here. And many lake residents would agree that this time of the year brings vacationers from near and far.
My parents recently took my 15-year-old daughter, Emma, away from the lake to visit my little brother and his family in Michigan. As I helped Emma prepare for her trip, I imagined the long hours she would spend riding in the car with her grandparents and was thankful she'd have music and games on her iPod to keep her busy.
I also remembered the times my parents had taken my brother, sister and me on long vacations in the family station wagon. We didn't have iPods to keep us busy. I remembered spending a lot of time belting out tunes from "Annie, the Musical."
From when I was a little girl, my greatest dream was to perform on stage as Little Orphan Annie. I was positive if I sang the songs over and over and over again, I would be as good as the girl singing on my cassette tape.
During one particular summer vacation, my father drove our family across the country to see the best the United States had to offer.
I was 10 years old. I wasn't interested in exploring Yellowstone or searching for gold nuggets in the Black Hills. I didn't care how tall the trees were in the Redwood Forest or how deep Crater Lake was. I just wanted to sing along to my "Annie" tape. So that's what I did. Everywhere we went.
Looking back, I realize how annoying my constant singing must have been to my poor brother, sister and parents. And let me take this moment to publicly apologize to my family for the many hours of torture.
After a week of reflecting on vacations from my past, I impatiently awaited Emma's return home. When my daughter came through our front door, luggage in hands. I immediately hugged her tight and asked about her trip.
Emma shrugged her shoulders, smiled, and then shyly admitted that her uncle - my brother - had told her stories about family vacations we had taken decades earlier.
"He even told me about the time you sang in the restaurant bathroom," Emma added. My other two kids leaned in, very interested to hear this story.
My face turned a bright shade of red as this vacation memory came back to me. Emma told her brother and sister that while traveling to California, I had decided to test the acoustics in the public bathrooms with an "Annie" tune.
After doing my business and finishing the song "Tomorrow," I emerged from the bathroom and joined my family at our booth. I was quite pleased with my performance and found the acoustics to be wonderful. But I was completely unaware that bathrooms were not sound-proof.
This summer, my family and I will cherish the places we visited, but I will also remember the places we revisited.