Monday, August 6, 2007

Childhood Memories - Part I

Back when I was growing up, we lived in Poughkeepsie, NY. I remember a trip we took to Lake Taconic. Or "Lake Taghkanic" if you go by the Native American spelling. It wasn't quite your normal family outing. In fact, it came about due to an episode of family strife between my Mom and my Dad. These episodes grew more frequent as the years passed--to the extent I would be filled with dread that my parents were on the verge of a divorce and at the same time wished fervently that they would split up. If only to be able to get some peace and quiet!

Anyway, the impetus of this jaunt to Lake Taconic was that my Mom was pissed at my Dad. I'm not sure what exactly but she wanted to teach him a lesson. She packed my sister and brother and me up in the station wagon (Remember station wagons? Before Minivans and SUVs we had station wagons. With "wood" paneling on the side. To make it look "rustic" I guess...) and started to drive away. We hadn't made it out of the neighborhood when she stopped and told me to sneak back into the house and pack our bathing suits. I was told emphatically NOT to let my Dad see me or tell him where we were going. As if I could--I had no more clue than my Mom did.

I made my way back to the house through a path in the woods. It was like a spy mission. Once there, I slipped inside and crept upstairs. I packed our swimming gear in my Barbie case--my thought was that if I was caught by my Dad I could tell him I was going to play Barbies with my friend Leslie. I escaped the house and raced back to where my Mom was parked waiting. We started driving.

"Where are we going?" It was just a big adventure to us. "We're going to a hotel. You can swim in the pool there." "Cool!" we thought as we drove along. But Mom kept driving and we ended up at Lake Taconic. It was well past the busy season--the lake was nearly deserted. All the better for us as we cavorted in the water. My Mom watched us from the shore.

As the sun faded, she packed us back up in the car. We drove back home. Would my Dad be angry? Would he be worried? He glanced up from the sports on TV as we came through the door.

He hadn't even realized we were gone. So much for that. But it was a nice day at the lake for us kids, anyway...

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