I am ALMOST positive that spring (the season without snow but with green grass and flowers will arrive) just like it always has. Spring will be followed by summer and that great American Tradition: a vacation which entails sponging on your relatives for a cheap getaway. Just buy a summer lake cabin or a time share or move to an exotic location and relatives that you have never heard of, let alone met in person, and you will be contacted by hordes of people inviting themselves to visit you at their convenience!
I know this is true because I have been the sponger and the spongee. When in grade school, my family’s vacation was a trip to Minneapolis to visit my Aunt Rollis and her family. It was like the country mice going to visit the city mice. Diane, my cousin, was about my age and Cousin Carol was the same age as my sister Barbie. My sister Julie had no counterpart so she hung out with the cute blond neighbor boy, Mike.
The city mice showed us how to ride a bus downtown. Riding the bus was easy. Figuring where to get on and off was the hard part. We discovered that there were other flavors of ice cream besides vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. My favorite new flavor was peppermint bon bon. I also learned that olive oil was not the liquid in the jar filled with olives. Rollis fried a vegetable called eggplant in it. I liked the way it looked, but not the taste. In Preston we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner or supper. In Minneapolis people combined breakfast and lunch and called it brunch. My family was against that idea. We expected three meals a day plus snacks.
Since we were almost teenagers, Diane and I listened to the radio much of the time. While I was on vacation Marilyn Monroe died, and the number one new song on the radio was “She Wore an Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka dot Bikini”…
After we had sponged for a week we came home. Later in the summer Rollis and family would come to Preston and sponge back. Now we got to show the city mice the ropes. We showed them the back way to hike to the swimming pool. We took them to the county fair. We picked out black walnuts by the pint and sold them door to door. Then we spent the money at Austin’s Locker buying newlywed sundaes (a combination of a chocolate ice cream and cake roll, topped with more chocolate and whipped cream).
The vacation days passed too quickly. Much fun was had by all. The vacations were cheap, but the memories priceless!
Rollis introduced us to HOBO PACKETS. Everyone got to make their own, and clean-up was simple.
Start with a roll of aluminum foil. Tear into big squares. Spray foil with Pam. On each piece of foil put a hamburger pattie (raw), some cut up potatoes, a few carrots, an onion, and a slice of cheese. Fold the foil into packets and bake in oven on a cookie sheet at 350 degeees for about 60 minutes.