My Family

When my family took a vacation it was to a place where my dad could golf or fish. A vacation for my mom might be sitting in the car with a book while my dad was off doing something. As for me, the fishing trips were the most fun if we stayed overnight in the woods. We had a tent, there were rivers and woods to explore. It was heaven. But I don’t see why my mom put up with it.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “my family.”

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Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

4 thoughts on “My Family”

  1. Growing up I didn’t think too much about it. Maturity, what is now history, following generations brought home that from my first moments on this earth diversity formed who I am. My family is the foundation. I was born in another time of chauvinism and nationalism: the 1930’s. My parents’ religions were different as were their nationalities. It was hard for my Mother to assimilate into my Dad’s family. I grew up with my church’s judgment that my Dad would go to hell because he didn’t convert.. Even very young children like myself were propagandized into the idea that Jews were not like the rest of us and therefore their “supposed” plight should be ignored. It was the time of Hitler, herding “Japs” into concentration camps, siding with Chiang Kai Chek, Stalin. I can remember riding the “el” from the north to the south sides of Chicago a few times and seeing with great wonder, girls of a different color: Negroes, Pickaninnies. Yet when my first-grade teacher asked for my nationality my family background, honesty and transparency caused me to respond, “I’m a Chicagoan.” Somehow I knew that it’s “we” that makes me to be really “me.” .

  2. When I was a teenager, my family took these utterly INSANE vacations. Insane because the whole extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) would go, in several cars…the guinea motorcade, I called it (guinea because we’re Italian-American, and motorcade because one car was always the lead vehicle and everybody else followed the leader to our destination). One year we went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (we live in Brooklyn & Queens, NY) but most years we descended on Atlantic City, NJ like a pack of fucking locusts. We’d take over a block of rooms at one of the hotels (Trump, Harrah’s, Ceaser’s) and plant ourselves by the beach or at the pool by day. Dinner was always a buffet, as in ALL YOU CAN EAT, and good god, we could eat. After dinner, the adults would take themselves to the casino, while the tweens and teens (me, my sisters, my cousins) were left to our own devices. If the grown ups ever asked, we entertained ourselves at the amusement park at Tivoli Pier (yeah, I’m so fucking old, that still existed when I was a kid) but really we slunked around the boardwalk, smoked cigarettes, acquired bottles of booze, and misbehaved as teenagers usually did. As long as we made it back to the rooms before the parents, and we didn’t stink of booze and cigarettes, nobody suspected anything. Usually we stayed in Atlantic City for two or three weeks in August, sometimes moving from hotel to hotel (we’d have two free nights at Trump, a night at Harrahs, and so on and so forth) like goddamn gypsies).
    As crazy as my family is, as much as I hated us when we had to wait 40 minutes for “a table for twenty-five” at dinner, those insane vacations were some of the best times of my life.

  3. Those of you who have an intact, or relatively intact, extended family can consider yourselves fortunate. My family nucleus was torn apart when I was a young girl as a result of leaving my homeland due to political unrest. My immediate family in the United States were my parents. All my other relatives, those who played an important part in my life, stayed behind. Some were able to come to the United States, but the rest couldn’t, and I never got to see them again. As an adult, the pain of having never been able to say goodbye is very tangible and will always be with me.

  4. My family these days consists of only my husband and my adopted pets. Oh, there is one first cousin who treated me very badly as a child and now has been in touch but it’s not the same. We are in the process of speaking frequently and becoming closer. I miss my family terribly because I’m so used to an extended large family. My maternal grandparents had three daughters who lived to ripe old ages. My dear grandparents bought three multi-family apartment houses in New York when their daughters were young. Then they promptly rented out apartments as each of the daughters married. Most of the other tenants were of the same religion and ethnic culture. Somehow whenever a family came to the United States my grandparents found room for them to temporarily live until they became citizens, found jobs, and their own places. Even most of the tenants and neighborhood folks felt like “family.” They would all keep on eye on the children to be sure no one was in any sort of trouble or, the reverse side of the coin, trying to cause trouble. With the exception of possibly one or two obnoxious children, everyone seemed to behave. The summers were the best when windows and doors were open. This was before air-conditioning. You might hear a young child practicing on his/her saxophone or accordion. You definitely would hear a lot of vocalizing. What neighborhood didn’t have three or four females harmonizing in hopes of being the Caucasian “Supremes?” All sorts of aromas would permeate the humid and hot twilight. Good food and many, many flowering plants in the backyard gardens. And you’d be hard pressed not to find some pretty fantastic vegie gardens in those yards as well. I’m not sure families are as cohesive these days. This generation seems to be glued to their I-Pods or whatever you call all the techie items that seem to come on the scene each day. Something is missing. Hmmm – maybe the art of conversation – the art of sharing and truly caring. Families don’t seem to even eat dinners together sharing the day’s events. It’s sad. I feel they’re missing so much and becoming somewhat robotic..

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