Sunday, January 4, 2009

Memory Lane: Baker's Acres

When, oh when, they've been asking, are you going to write about Traverse City? Rejoice: that day has arrived. Let's brighten up a dreary winter day with mostly happy memories of mostly sunny vacations.
Our vacations were usually to visit my mother's parents, but every summer (for 3-4 consecutive years) we piled in the station wagon and headed to Traverse City, Michigan.

The trip was endless. In spite of books, toys, games, snacks, puzzles, pillows and blankets, crayons, the radio, etc., it probably took less than an hour for the choruses of "I'mmm borrrred!" to begin.

Mom had to mediate endless feuds and keep track of whose turn it was for the prized front seat shift, while we in the back and the "back-back" ratcheted everyone's frustration with our pettiness. "Mom! He's touching my side!" "Mom! She's looking at me!" Poor dad would slowly go from annoyed to seething; I'm guessing he must have taught himself some zen trick of turning off his ears. Again, a testament to parental love that we arrived 7-8 hours later without bloodshed. (I see kids now strapped into car seats like John Glenn and know that there is NO WAY I could ever survive a car trip like that, no matter how many DVDs are offered.)

Our destination was a row of little cabins on the shore of Lake Michigan, a "resort" called Bakers Acres. Grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles all converged to take over five or six of the cabins for a week. We got to see our Cincy cousins Henry and Mary Beth, and our twin cousins, Judy and Susie, who usually celebrated their birthday during that week. The mob included Aunt Fanny & Uncle Harry, Aunt Regina & Uncle Lou, Aunt Rhea & Uncle Sid, Aunt Tootsie (Sonia) and Uncle Joe,
mom's parents Grandma Sophie & Grandpa Harold, as well as our local first cousins and their parents, Auntie & Uncle Bennie.

If there was a cabin or two not occupied by my family, I feel sorry for them! Between our raucous kids, chattering women, and cigar-chomping menfolk, they could not have had a very restful vacation.

Come to think of it, it couldn't have been very restful for the ladies: our tiny cabins were equipped with tiny kitchens, so we hauled food with us, and they spent their "vacations" providing three meals a day. It was more of a visit than a vacation.

I don't think Baker's Acres survived much beyond our annual visits. I remember someone telling me there's now a Days Inn or something on that lot. It's amazing that it lasted as long as it did, but this was before waterfront property was ridiculously overvalued.

Stay tuned for Chapter 2: what the heck did you do all week?


prairievisiondesign : handmade said...

Happy Holidays to you, too, N!

Anonymous said...

I love your reminiscences. How interesting and funny life is in retrospect. I'm also impressed that you've saved the photos. You must be the family curator.

Many blessings to you in the New Year.

The Fazzah said...

I survived Baker's Acres

Anonymous said...

I survived too! Thanks for returning to the site of some of my happiest childhood memories (boy, I was little) and in chapter 2 don't forget to mention Henry throwing a dead fish into the swimming pool and Uncle (Grandpa to you) taking us out on the glass bottomed boats!

La Cootina said...

Mary B - how could I have forgotten that fish story? I'm going to have to ask sibs & cousins to share their memories, too. We probably all remember different things!

Fazz - really? What a coincidence!