Sweet Summertime Sunday
Most of my fondest memories growing up were of the summers spent in Dry Gulch at my grandparents home. Both my Mom and Dad worked full time so we were mostly in their care. We would ride our bikes, and run through the sprinklers; eat ice cream and freshly picked raspberries. Evenings would be spent laying on Gramma’s lawn in the shade of apple trees. My grandparents owned a campground called Sunny Side Trailer Court. And even talking about it pulls at my heartstrings. It was one of my most favourite places to be.
There was a couple who traveled every year from California with their Airstream trailer to stay in the campground; we adopted them as great-grandparents – Gramma and Grampa Bailes. My grandparents met them before I was born; I am pretty sure even my parents were kids then. They grew to love our family and we always just knew them as our grandparents.
I can remember the scent as I walked into their trailer: sweet and homey. Gramma Bailes was very artsy. She loved to paint and was absolutely amazing at it. She was a wonderful cook, her cornbread and pies were my favourites. They always brought big boxes of California oranges and we would make fresh orange juice from them. I loved climbing up onto Grampa Bailes lap and listening to his stories. He always had a bag of fresh California prunes that he would share. They were just the sweetest people.
One of the memories that stands out, since there are so many, was when we painted rocks. We would first go rock picking to find all shapes and sizes. Then we would set up a picnic table in the back of my grandparents’ home with a tablecloth. We would wash off all the rocks and lay them out to dry. Grandma Bailes had all the supplies for us; she would show us how easy it was to make something simple into a piece of art. She was patient and talented – such a great teacher.
This is also something I was able to pass on to my kids. When we camp we bring our paints with us and paint rocks. It is so much fun!
The Bailes have since passed on. But, for years I would stay in touch with them. We would write letters back and forth in the mail. I have kept every single one. I sure miss them and those summer days, but I am making new memories and traditions with my kids, and hope they can hold all those special moments in their hearts to carry with them.