When I was a little girl, my family took several road trips. A few of these trips centered around traveling from where we lived in St. Louis to where we considered to be home in Minnesota. After we moved back to Minnesota, we traveled to several places in the United States and to see relatives in Canada. These trips are memorable and filled with highlights, but there is one that surpasses all the others.
The summer before my junior year of high school, my dad suggested that we go to Europe. I honestly don’t remember how mutual the response was between my mom, my sister, my brother, and myself. I don’t remember who made the next suggestion. But, I remember what I thought. I can guess what I said. I can guess I probably verbalized more about what I thought than my mom, my sister, and my brother did. (My dad is the only extravert in my childhood family, but I am the extraverted-introvert among the introverts.) Whoever came up with that suggestion, there was enough of an overriding majority to overrule Dad’s suggestion.
That summer we went to Bemidji, Minnesota. Our carry-bags were heavy-laden with books. I remember bringing several poetry books by Helen Steiner Rice and Giants’ Bread by Mary Westmacott, Agatha Christie’s pseudonym. We spent that entire week reading and sitting on the beach.
When my husband and I were newly married, I somehow forgot about my favorite vacation. By then, my parents and brother had moved to Ohio. So, road trips and vacations centered around visiting them. It wasn’t until after we had our three boys–and after a few failed “vacation” attempts–that we discovered our favorite vacation. Well, to be honest, we rediscovered mine.
Our favorite vacations have been spent in a cabin, on a lake, with a boat, and books (at least for me). Those parameters could be adjusted to be a camper or a houseboat, on a lake, with a boat, and books. Sometimes we’ve brought our dogs. But, always, I’ve brought books.
I don’t know that I’ve ever read as many books as I did on that Bemidji vacation. But, the ideal of it is the one I return to year-after-year.