Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Fun In The Sun!

Can't believe that another summer is coming quickly to a close. Wow! Where did it go??? It wasn't one of those sweltering summers where you were either looking for a pool to jump into or a beach to cool off at or even a boat ride---- just a nice summer. A few warmer days in July, but that didn't last too long. I think we only used the air conditioners for maybe two or three days the most.

And then the rains came- lots of rain. It wasn't a drought-stricken season like we've had the last few years. I think our longest period without rain was maybe ten days. And I felt so bad for the areas that experienced severe flooding. And then on the other side of the country- California, etc. - severe drought.

Well, I hope that you had a chance to get some rest and relaxation this season, and it's still not too late if you didn't have time to get away even if it's just for a day trip somewhere. Maybe take a ride to the countryside, a walk in a forest, climb a mountain, or head to the BEACH!

When I was growing up in Western New York, my family loved taking us kids to the beach. We didn't live that far from Beaver Island State Park and that was a park that my family used to go to quite often. Either on one of the weekend days or even after my father got home from work we would head out there. My mother always packed our dinner which was usually hot dogs or hamburgers that also consisted of either macaroni or potato salad. And Kool Aid! Remember making the different flavors of Kool Aid? And lime Kool Aid. I think that was the worst one.

Just about every year when our cousins visited from Memphis, Tennessee, we got together at Beaver Island for a big family reunion on my mother's side of the family. We came from a large family. I was one of six children, and my mother was one of 11 children. I have 55 first cousins (as of last count- and I am probably missing some here). At the family reunion there was usually a softball game that either finished up when someone got hurt or the food was done on the grill. There were also volleyball games, badminton and then swimming when we needed to cool off. And for those relatives that were older and didn't get into the physical games someone always brought a deck of cards and the Euchre games were held at the picnic tables. That was so much fun, and we always hated to see our cousins leave and head back to Memphis.

Another summer activity that my family loved to do for quite a few summers was to rent a cottage in Ontario, Canada for a week or two. I can remember the first cottage they rented. It was in Port Dalhousie, near St. Catherines, Ontario. It was on the water, but there was a steep bank with a set of stairs going down to the beach. There was also a little amusement park in Port Dalhousie, and we could walk on the beach to get to the amusement park. I will never forget the smell of french fries from the amusement park. (Canadians call them chips.) They were served in little paper white cones, and of course you had to put vinegar on them. It was a special kind of vinegar- malt vinegar. Oh, I loved that smell- I even loved the SMELL of the french fries more than I loved the taste of them. We would also go on the amusement rides there. The "Caterpillar" was fun- a little roller coaster that went around in a circle and after a few times around a cover would go over the entire ride. And they also had a ride called the "Whip". One of those rides that the car turns around and all the cars also go around each other. The Carousel from the park is still in existence with it's hand carved animals from Brooklyn, NY.  You can still ride the Carousel for 5 cents! Here is a link: Lakeside Park Carousel.

Some interesting things I remember about that first cottage we rented was the smell of the old wooden furniture, especially the dressers. It had a certain "smell". It wasn't musty, but just a nice woodsy smell. And then we had a wooden icebox. Can you believe that? The cottage had electricity, but no refrigerator. There was a man that delivered large blocks of ice in a truck to the people in the area for their iceboxes.

The electric lights that I remember were just light bulbs hanging on a cord from the ceiling. And then there were the mattresses. They were very firm, and they made a scrunching  noise when you sat on the bed or moved around in it. Well, come to find out they were straw mattresses. And one last thing, but I won't go into detail about this, is that we had outhouses. hahaha.

We could usually count on at least one good thunderstorm coming up on Lake Ontario and those were fun to watch from the cottage on the screened in porch. And then it was time to start the card games - when the rains came.

After renting this cottage for a few years, my parents located another cottage that we rented for a few years after that. This one was located quite a bit farther north in Canada. It was located in Wasaga Beach on the Georgian Bay off of Lake Huron, but still in the Province of Ontario. Wasaga Beach is huge. This beach is nine miles long, the longest freshwater beach in the World! At one time you could drive your car all day/night long right on the beach, but that has since been changed due to erosion. Here is a  link to Wasaga Beach.

Vintage postcard purchased at Antique Market. 
Those are all cars parked on the beach. They could be seen for several miles

Looking back, it's hard to believe those summers were so long ago. . . Endless Summer Dreams

Do you have any special memories or experiences of your summers from your youth?

Hope you enjoyed my experiences and stories from my youth. My wish for you is that I hope you get a chance to enjoy the rest of our beautiful summer here in the Northeast or wherever you may live!

Sail On -

Note: I Wish I had photos to share with you of the original cottages we rented. All of the camps/cottages shown in this post are from the Town of Henderson, New York area.

Thanks for reading, 
feel free to leave a comment-


  1. wonderful post, Sue. I wonder if our parents knew each other.

    1. Thank you, Ann. That's possible. Maybe they even went to school together.

  2. Great Story Sue,
    Yes we did have a lot of fond memories there. I try to share them with my family. Would be nice to revisit them again.. Maybe get some of us together again. Thanks again for letting me relive them days again.

    1. You are very welcome! So many memories of our family reunions and get-togethers, and I just wrote a few of them down. At some point maybe I'll think of some more to share and I might even be able to locate some photos. Thanks for commenting, your feedback means a lot to me.

  3. Nice photos, Sue. I am often at Beaver Island to photograph the wildlife. I never once picnicked there or swam. I had an architectural project for the casino, and that is what got me so interested in the rest of the park. You are right, summer is winding down, yet a friend and I are traveling to Maine shortly. It will be my summer vacation even though it will be past summer by 1 day. Then winter comes and I am off to Maui. Still can't decide on the camera to take. The little one may be what I use for travel.

    1. Thank you, Donna. It's been awhile since I've been back to Beaver Island, but it used to have a really nice beach.
      September should be a great time to visit Maine. You might even see some early fall foilage.
      Lucky you to be heading to Maui in the winter. We've been to Maui (twice), both times on our anniversary. The thing that impressed me the most about Hawaii was the fragrance from all the flowers. Love the plumerias the best. They use them in the leis. I have one growing at the house, but it doesn't bloom very well because it doesn't get much sun.

  4. This post was like a flash back to my child hood.My dad,being Canadian,meant we spent a lot of time there.I loved Port Dalhousie! I know it's weird,but one of my fondest memories is of my younger brother always getting car sick after the rides at the amusement park.Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Chris. That's a surprise that you went to Port Dalhousie, too. And pretty funny about your brother getting sick after the rides at the park. I was thinking some more about the amusement park and I can even remember the prizes you won at the games. Every year we had to play at least the duck pond (or was it a fishing pond)? But the prizes were the wooden batons with silver glitter on the top, the cupie dolls with hot pink feathers, the folding hand fans, and remember the chalkware prizes? They were the best, but never knew what to do with them. Now they are collector items. Thanks for your comments and glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Lovely memories...we went on summer weekly trips and we swam at the neighborhood pool all summer...once a summer for a week we went to Camp Fire Girls much to remember.

    1. Thank you, Donna. Yes, we all have such fond memories of our childhood. Friends, families, games, vacations, swimming, camping, etc.- all special, and all good for the soul.