During the summers of my younger childhood I remember going on a few vacations with my family, especially the one time when we went to Colorado and left in the night so it would be cooler while driving. This was before cars had air-conditioning. We went to the mountains and saw coal mines and we even visited the North Pole and saw Santa and the reindeer. We stayed in Boulder, and the swimming pool there at the motel was heated! In the car one day, my sister DeAnn and John were arguing and she accidentally poked him in the eye with a scissors. Other times during the summers we had family come and visit…our cousins, aunts and uncles from California and Alabama. We had a horse named Nelly and our parents would make us let our cousins ride her. We wanted to ride her when they were there but were told we could ride her when they were gone. This didn’t seem fair, somehow. But, the really good memory is when my dad and mom made homemade ice cream, from the fresh eggs, fresh cream and sometimes even fresh fruit.
We had a pear tree, peach trees, apple trees, cherry trees, and a big strawberry patch in Grandpa Laue’s garden.Back to the ice cream—my dad would buy a block of ice from Priebe’s (the grocery feed store in Vassar) and break it on the sidewalk in a gunny sack with a sledge hammer. We’d all take turns turning the crank and when it was done—you couldn’t turn the handle any more because it was frozen—we would get to lick the can. My favorite was Brown Bread (vanilla with Grape Nuts). We also had a big garden and we had to hoe and weed it. When the potatoes were ready dad would take the tractor and plow them turning the dirt in the row over exposing the white potatoes. We would pick up the potatoes in buckets. Then we’d take them to the basement where dad had built a 8’X10’ square lumber frame out of 2X12’s and we’d put the potatoes on the cool floor and they’d last all winter. Along the walls where the potatoes were, there were shelves lined with jars and jars of canned food—green beans, tomatoes, corn, pickles, peas, and carrots. A couple of summers before my mom died, she took her four daughters on a trip to California on the train to see her Dad and sisters, Betty, Geraldine, and Helen. John stayed home to help Dad. It was the first time I saw the ocean. And, I got to meet and see so many relatives I didn’t know. We got to see so many sights we’d never seen, the mountains, the dessert, big cities, freeways and palm trees.
It was a trip so wonderful; because it wasn’t long after that that she became sick.