Since everyone (well, at least my best blogger friends) is talking about vacations today, I'll tell you about mine. Things in my memory can be sorted out like the bible: there was BDL(Before Dad Left) and ADL(After Dad Left).

BDL our vacations consisted of his church (cult) trips to the Ozarks. I was too young to remember any of those, but Mom always talks about the trauma she endured in being stuck with three kids, crowds, and a group of God Raving men on a roller coaster.

ADL there was absolutely no money for vacation. Mom had her job at the library where she acted as librarian and provided social services to the community, ironically making IOU's to the cash pocket in the file cabinet so we could buy groceries. Government cheese and boxes of powdered milk could be found in our home—extra stock and very needed. Vacations were one of those things that just were not available, that is, until land share vacations came around. If you've never heard, it's basically a pitch to come and look at plots of land. They're just sure you will buy, and give you a couple of nights in a hotel as deposit and good faith. Mom had no intention in buying any such land, but yes, she'd take the free vacation. So we drove through Missouri down into Arkansas and had a few stays at some very nice little hotels, looked at the land, said no, and came home. One time Mom made a bad move and told the real estate guy we weren't really going to buy, and he took away our rights to the game room and swimming pool. Picture us three kids standing behind a metal fence watching a crowd of happy children running around in their swimming suits having the best of times.

Mom would plan little side trips to make the stolen vacation seem more exciting. One stop had us all digging through a huge mountain of dirt. It was a "find yourself a diamond" place, which could be exciting if you weren't seven and hot and up to your neck in dust and pieces of broken glass. Every once in a while someone would jump up from their pit and yell, "I got one!" and run off to the diamond-checker dude. Then three-minutes later they'd come sulking past, muttering, "It was only a chunck of Seven-up bottle." It is only till now that I question diamonds being in a plot of dust. Aren't they supposed to be in caves? Which reminds me of the cave tour we took. We all climbed aboard a little tram and were driven through the dark, cold underworld of Missouri. Tales were told, beautiful dripping stalagmites were ogled at. We heard about bats and how much they love caves, and then on the way out, the man in front of us jumped from his seat in the tram and began to smack at his back right shoulder. "A bat! A bat!" It was only a leaf and all us kids had a great laugh at his expense. It had been the best part of the tour.

My adult vacations are all about Colorado. I love Colorado and want to go back so bad, but probably won't be able to for a while. She's often in my dreams; I can feel her cool breezes and can smell her pine and aspen.


  1. We went to Boulder and the Nation Park a few years ago, Amy. Colorado is great, isn't it? Have you ever read 'Cider with Rosie' by Laurie Lee? Your mum reminds me of Lee's mother.

  2. I haven't, no, but I will soon : ) Yeah, my Mom is a fighter and really did the best with what she had.

    I love Redstone, COlorado near the Maroon Bells. Gotta get back!

  3. I agree with Tom, 'Cider with Rosie' is a MUST. I always think of Colorado as skiing country; Aspen et al.

    I love the idea of 'land share vacations'. How clever of your mum!

  4. Amy your mum sounds a very special kind of person. I hope you follow your dream and get back to Redstone one day.

  5. Interesting vacation post! I feel so fortunate in the camping trips I took as a kid, but tons of work for my parents!

  6. Mom is very special and diligent and creative. Gotta love that!

    Karen, we went camping just one time and it was pretty fun, even if my brother did kick me out of the cot for putting my feet in his face : )~

  7. Love these stories, Amy. I had a single mom, too and we did a lot of camping on the beach. Those were good memories. simple, but good.

  8. Your mum sounds awesome!

    And so does Colorado.


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