From the “Around the Kitchen Table” Guest Blog Series
Guest blogger: Alvina Valencourt
(Alvina is the cousin I mentioned frequently in Ira’s Farm. Her dad was Uncle Mike who brought the Monopoly game on New Year’s Eve in 1937.)
It’s getting around the 4th of July time of the year, taking me back to a childhood memory of the one time of the year when we did anything together as a family.
Dad was a hard-working farmer, often bragging that “the day wasn’t long enough or the work hard enough” to suit him. Consequently, a day of leisure together as a family was rare. The 4th of July was the exception. So, with his brothers and their families who lived nearby, we would all converge on Green Lake near Interlochen for an all-day picnic.
We would scurry around getting ready which necessitated I go upstairs into the attic to retrieve my bathing suit from a large black trunk that reposed there. The attic was dark (no electricity then) and smelled strongly of mice. But thinking of the treat looming before me, I opened the trunk and retrieved the green knit moth-eaten bathing suit inherited from my cousin and ran downstairs to help Mama with the food,
The family piled into the Ford and our holiday began! Upon arriving at Green Lake, Dad would treat us kids to ice cream cones, a real treat in those hard times. Then into my bathing suit, plunge into the sparkling green lake. It was cold to my skin at first, but soon became pure joy as we splashed about.
At noon we had the picnic lunch and later in the day made ice cream the old-fashioned way – turning a handle on the wooden freezer. So delicious!
And so, back to the farm, never knowing that some eighty years later the memory of that simple pleasure would remain with me.