Funny how some little tidbit from the long ago comes to mind for no particular reason. My mom and dad had a circle of friends who all got married and had kids about the same time. So all of us kids grew up together, and while we went our separate ways, our parents remained the closest of friends until one by one each left the world. Anyway, not being the wealthy sort of folks, all of these families would vacation by going camping–relatively cheap, and in our part of the world, there were lots of places to go. We would be anywhere from three to six families of varying sizes, and we had some favorite places we camped at. It is not so clear that those places were always happy to see us, but we were always happy to see them.
There are many things that I remember about those days, but the tidbit that popped up today had to do with the drives home. Especially when we all came home from Lake Chelan State Park (where, by the way, many wonderful things happened that I probably ought not mention right now, as it would be a lengthy side trip–but “here comes Beetlebaum” stands out). Anyway again, as it turned out, my family was the first to turn off the main drag to go up the hill to home after a four to five hour drive from Chelan. But for whatever reason, everyone was still together, each family in its car following the leader, which was generally my dad, maybe because we would be the first to leave the caravan. I remember that we slowed after the turn, and each of the cars after us would honk as they continued on–a “goodbye for now, didn’t we have fun” sort of recognition that meant the vacation was at an end.
Those caravans and those honks live in my mind as symbols of happy times and deep friendships.