Well, the weather is finally starting to get nice after a very odd start to the month of April. With the sun shining today as I type this, I can’t help but think of those days when I was a kid and dad said it was time to go for a ride. Where were we going? Who were we going to see? No one really knew, but we were going out as a family for a Sunday drive.
A lot of times, we ended up in Lyndonville visiting both of my grandmothers. If we were lucky, some of our cousins might be around for some kids to play with. Other times, we would drive along Lake Ontario just checking out the sights. Occasionally, we’d pass by a friend’s house. When we saw they were home, we’d stop in for an afternoon visit. Especially in the summer months once school was out, this often led to sleepovers for us kids.
These were the days before everyone had the schedule a playdate. We didn’t have Blackberries or calendars that micromanaged every move we made. We simply went with it. If it was a bad time to stop by, it was pretty apparent and the visit was short. Off we went to see the countryside. Honestly, nine times out of ten, the impromptu visit ended up being an afternoon of great times, if not three or four days of sleepovers.
There were times that we’d drive to the end of the Lyndonville Road and just sit at the lake. In the height of summer, there were sailboats all over the waters, and freighters plying their trade along the horizon. We used to count the sails we could see. Sometimes, you could even see Toronto.
At the same time, we’d bring empty jugs to fill with water from the Lyndonville Water Works. In those days, Lockport would change the water source over to the canal (at least that was what we were told). Since that water tasted terrible, we’d fill up from the spigot at the waterworks. That water wasn’t probably any better than what was being delivered at our house in Lockport, but it sure seemed like it.
Those days were idyllic. Of course, as each of us kids got older, the less we liked going on those Sunday drives. Our attendance slackened, becoming farther and farther apart until we stopped going altogether. By the time we realized we missed the time with our family, it was mostly too late to grab ahold of those times that were so much fun as small children.
Once in awhile, Wendy and I will decide to pack up the kids and take them for a jaunt around the county. It’s not nearly as often as when I was a kid, but we’ll take a long ride along the lake, head up towards Youngstown, and swing back home. Even though my kids are younger than I was when I first started hated going, they already hate it. Or, at least they complain about it more than I remember complaining. (In all probability, I complained just as much, but memories say otherwise.)
How many of you remember going on day long drives with your family? Did you just happen to stop by a friend’s house and stay the afternoon, or did you do the whole play date thing? I think with our modernity we’ve lost some of the spontaneity that we used to cherish as genuine surprises when we were young. Does anyone stop by unannounced anymore? I used to love it when the doorbell rang and you had no idea who it was until you answered the door. Well, sometimes, we’d sneak a look out the window to see if we could figure out who it was by their vehicle. And did they have their kids with them? That sometimes was the most important question of the day.
Next Week: Down to Earth, or How I Learned at NCCC East..
Craig Bacon loves surprise visits. Next time there’s a knock on your door, it just may be him. It is still rude to hide behind closed drapes until I give up and go home.