The theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge is Summer.
I don’t have a specific photo but I couldn’t resist passing along this memorable adventure.
I loved being in the water and swimming in the ocean.
On one occasion my oldest brother, Louie, had my parents permission to drive the family station wagon to the beach. My parents were not going with us. We were on our own for the day!
The big, blue wagon, which had bench seating for six, was filled to capacity, including a few of us who piled in the back.
Joining him in the front seat was Terry, who eventually became my sister-in-law.
We had a great day, enjoying the sand, the ocean and the sun. Then, when it was time to go home, there were car problems. I don’t remember all the details, but my brother managed to get the car to a local gas station. Fortunately there was nothing horribly wrong. He also called home using the gas station’s pay phone.
Mind you, this was a day trip, so we were expecting to be home for dinner. Our stomachs began to grumble, but we had already eaten the food that we brought.
My brother kept a cool head. He asked us all to empty our pockets. We did. Allowances and spending money were pooled together. My brother counted it and headed for the nearest drive-thru. He did the math and told us what we would be able to buy. We all agreed.
Louie pulled into the drive-thru. The garbled voice asked for his order. My brother said, “I’ll have eleven hamburgers and two cokes.” The garbled voice said, “Eleven hamburgers! You want eleven hamburgers, but only two cokes?” My brother, said, “Yeah…I have a big mouth!”
My brother pulled the wagon up to the window to pay. The cashier packed our burgers, saw how many kids were in the car, then added a few more burgers into the bag. My brother handed them out, then reminded everybody that we had to be reasonable about sharing the drinks. If someone wanted a sip, they just had to ask Terry and she would pass them to us.
The rest of the way home was uneventful. It was probably the first time my brother demonstrated that he could handle a situation where he needed to be responsible for his five siblings, and a few of their friends.
It was one of the more unique beach trips we experienced. We still laugh and talk about it today.
As it turns out, my sister-in-law’s birthday is in June. We often celebrated Terry’s birthday with a day or evening at the beach. For us it signaled the start of summer.
Enjoying the California sun, swimming in the ocean, gathering seashells and looking for sand crabs; eating hot dogs, roasting marshmallows, and, riding in the big, blue station wagon.
These were our youthful summers.