Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Road Trips

Today I am participating in the SOL event hosted at Two Writing Teachers.  Thanks, Ruth & Stacey.

After several days of work I finally said goodbye to my classroom for the summer.  Books are back on the shelves, supplies are put away, charts are off the walls, and there is very little sign that learning takes place there for most of the year.  

Having that work behind me allowed me to begin to kick off summer with some of my favorite events. I joined the 48 Hour Book Challenge, planned summer learning, filled my Shelfari shelf with books I hope to read (both pleasure and professional), and started filling my calendar with times to catch up with friends and family.  

Today I started with the first road trip of the summer.  Each summer my dad waits until I have my classroom closed down and then we take a day to drive to Logan County where he grew up.

There's nothing quite like a road trip with Dad.  We kick off our trip with a coffee stop and then visit the cemeteries of relatives, place flowers on several graves, stop at a local farmer's market, tell stories of generations before us, drive by my great grandmother's old lake house, and of course stop to eat at the Tilton Hilton.

Picture via IndianLakeArea.com
Why didn't I take a pic?  Goodness.
If you haven't visited the Titlon Hilton, it's worth the stop.  It likely gets its name because the floor inside actually tilts.  I'm pretty sure we were sitting at least at a 25 degree angle as we ate.  The building sits along the lake and has seating inside and out.  The people who work there are always friendly.  We, of course, go there for the hamburgers.  They are delicious!  I'm not kidding when I say the hamburgers are the size of my fist.

My great grandma
(that's me on the far right)
We go there to reminisce too.  When I was young my great grandmother had a house at the lake.  We loved to go there because Grandma was so much fun.  I guess after you live a long time you learn about priorities.  You learn what really matters and what really doesn't.

Visiting Grandma at the lake we had a lot of freedom.  We were able to go fishing, take pedal boats out on the water, walk to the beach to swim, shop the local candy store, and play in the tar bubbled streets (cars never went down the road).  Grandma didn't plan to eat at a  certain time.  She didn't plan to be anywhere at a certain time.  She just had time for you.  We'd paint ceramics, play games, laugh over stories, and eat whenever we were hungry.  My dad tells some of these same stories about time spent at the lake.

Driving by the abandoned house I think my dad and I notice its emptiness, yet at the same time I think we see the stories that rest within its walls.  We both have to smile a little.  Those stories and times at the lake fill us with great joy still --- as do these road trip adventures.


15 comments:

  1. I love that we both have our roots in Logan County -- my mom was raised on a farm outside of Huntsville with 10 brothers and sisters -- the Wallace family. Indian Lake is a huge part of our history as well.
    These trips with your dad sound priceless!!

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    1. Karen,
      It's a small world. My dad's family is all over that county. ;o) We have several surnames from there: Wilgus, Jacobs, Stevens, Dow, Stough, Newell, Millikan to name a few. We'll have to compare stories.

      Cathy

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  2. I love that you and your Dad take time to honor your past and reminisce. I love the way you described all your stops and what happens at each. I wish I had visited with your Grandma, too but delighted in your telling of times with her. What a lovely way to honor your hertitage.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. They are wonderful memories.

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  3. Cath,
    Your road trip sounds great! Reading about the awesome hamburgers made me hungry! It's so sweet that you make this special trip with your dad! There's just something so special about remember time with grandparents.

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    1. Amy,
      I think I could write a thousand grandparent stories. I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with my grandparents and great-grandparents.

      The hamburgers were delicious. I likely won't be hungry for days, however.

      Cathy

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  4. Sounds like a really special day with your dad! Lots and lots of treasured memories. Will he read this?

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  5. Cathy, it sounds so familiar, only I just spent oodles of time with grandparents, and one aunt and uncle-much of the summers were at their homes. I look back & am amazed at the time spent with me, and all my wonderful cousins. They really did do other things too, like cook etc. Your wonderful tradition with your dad brings back such memories, although I lived many states away. Thanks much for sharing about it.

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  6. Love summers on a lake and my grandma did the same thing - organizing priorities. My Grandma lived on the lake year round and I believe owned a dozen bathing suits because that is what she lived in. She could even garden in a swim suit! I personally can't where a skirted swim suit because Grandma wore a skirted swim suit as I was growing up. Thanks for warming my heart and reminding me about my own special lake place.

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  7. Tar bubbles...I haven't thought about tar bubbles in ages. Isn't it funny the little bits of memories that float...shared...between one person's life and another? Thanks for sharing. Gonna have to work harder to talk My Ol' Man into a road trip this summer.

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  8. Your writing brought back so many memories... Grandma on the back of your dad's motorcycle when she was almost 80... Summer church camp.. The time I cleaned her house and she was so angry with me.. The way our family used to play musical beds in the attic.. No one ever was in the same bed in the morning that they had started out in the night before... It was the first place I ever had a TV dinner.. Grandma was one very special person... I hated to see the house empty..

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  9. It sounds like you and your Dad had a great trip! I have many wonderful memories of summers at my in-laws cabin on a lake in Maine. They sold it years ago, and we haven't been back, but it is fun to reminisce.
    Catherine

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  10. I'd love to do a road trip with my Dad. That sounds like such fun!

    Loved the description of the Tilton Hilton. Sounds like some place!

    Happy summer, Cathy.

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  11. What a special tradition with your dad! I especially loved your description of your great-grandma. It's so neat that you got to know her, and she sounds like a really special person. I liked how you said she "always had time for you." And the Tilton Hilton sounds so cute!

    My dad went to Indian Lake when he was a kid (he's from Marion) but I've never been... maybe I should ask him to take me sometime!

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    1. You should make it a trip. I always enjoy the drive and you'll find a story or two there always.

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