Saturday, July 4, 2009

Where's Ruth?

It was not that I meant to be so self absorbed. In fact if you asked me I would have told you I was a very thoughtful caring person. But the truth I thought summers were to get everything done, go everywhere and try to not miss anything. Actually my summers started about Easter Time. I tried to buy "my bathing suit" just before Easter Vacation. My bathing suit was always a big deal to me. Long before 2 pieces, and high cuts, low cuts, I wanted my suit to be of beautiful color, and durable because it was going to get a lot of use. It was always a big joke because the first day I would wear my suit all day and even sleep in my suit. Easter vacation was to start your tan. My best friend, Eva and I, would walk down to San Jose City College each day of vacation, dip in the pool, slather on baby oil and lay out working on our tan. Every summer was the same......the Friday before Easter Sunday I went to Girl Scouts camp and cleaned the cabins. (The name of the camp is on the tip of my brain). We swept out cob webs and wooden floors of the cabins, disinfected outhouses, scrubbed kitchens. And we thought this was fun.

Memorial week end as the 4th of July and Labor week end was spent with my family.
About 15 families, 20 ski boats gathered at the same campground for a weekend of water skiing. We made a big circle with our tents, the out door kitchen would reside in the middle of the camp. We had people of all ages, babies, small children, pre teens, teens, young single men, parents, grandparents. It was the best!!

My father did all the boat driving when his kids water-skied. I had two older brothers. I remember while my brothers slept in I would have to wait patiently while my dad ate breakfast because my turn to ski was before the boys woke up. Mom would try to get dad fed his breakfast and off on his way. I would catch them looking at each other with smiles in their eyes. They were enjoying my efforts to stay calm and wait for dad to start up the boat engine and call for me.

Just after Memorial week end, I had Girl Scout Camp to attend for a week, then church camp for a week, When I became a teen I also went to Church Family Camp as a worker in the ice cream parlor and to sing in the choir.

When I was not gone from home --- I was across the street at the recreation program. There were always planned activities. A new theme each week, and lots of things to keep kids busy. A typical week end would be Indian Week, or Circus Week, Monday we would start making crafts for the week. Macaroni beads for Indian week, Animal masks for Circus week. We would learn a new game each week ---same game just theme oriented----Indian tag, Circus tag, Indian bingo, Circus Wednesday we would work on costumes, Thursday we had a themed party complete with theme art, theme costumes, playing theme games and the greatest of all a 5 cent snow cone. Fridays we cleaned up, put things away, took art and stuff home, had chess, checker, tournaments and start again the next week.

Sometimes I would go out to the field to hang around the Mc Donald boys, They were named Hughie, Louie, Dewey and Donald (no lie) and those boys were baseball crazy --everyday they played in the field. Sometimes I would go up and ask to play and they would say ok but my position was always out out field. Meaning if the ball was an automatic double or homerun it was my job to go find the ball. They would continue to play with a spare ball. Sometimes they remembered to say thank you when I would retrieve the out out ball!!

I seldom wore shoes all summer. It was not uncommon for me to have blood blisters (from walking barefoot on the asphalt), callouses on my feet, and basically rather disgusting darkened gross feet. For that reason, when it was time for school, it was always an ordeal and sure to produce heel blisters when I had to wear new shoes for school.

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