Caravans… Reminiscing about Family Holidays
Posted on September 29, 2012
As kids Dad would take us on trips to our caravan. It was kept at a place by a majestic lake on the outskirts of Victoria called Eppalock. The idea of spending our summer at a miniature house on wheels was always exhilarating. It was a place where we would water ski, hang with the other kids, play from dawn to dusk, eat peanut butter sandwiches, swat flies, and enjoy charred meat from a barbeque every evening.
I remember the jingle of the milk, ice cream and lolly truck every early morning and late afternoon, where swarms of kids would come running from every direction with pocket money in hand, pushing and shoving their way through the small crowd to get their hands on a red-skin, or a Sunnyboy ice block.
There was a BMX track that was made over the course of two summers by Trent and Troy, the two Mc Duffey boys, and also secret cubby houses in the bush. There was a pontoon with a slide attached which we would pour water down to create a waterslide. Getting to the pontoon required you to swim quite a decent way out on the lake. Once there, you needed to navigate your way up the slimy ramp and once that was achieved, generally after about four or five attempts, you would participate with the older kids. They were seeing who could dive to the bottom of the lake and bring up a token of their achievement in the form of mud and pebbles from the bottom. I would always claim I lost the mud and pebbles on the way up… my excuse never washed with the older kids.
I remember my older sister getting drunk for the very first time after being fed bourbon by the boys one Saturday night at the ‘kids only’ campfire at the quarry. She staggered back to the caravan and fell from the top bunk straight onto the concrete annex floor below. Dad yelled from the caravan “What’s going on in there?” to which I replied, “Oh nothing, I just whacked my elbow”. Of course, he didn’t buy it and I’ve always been a shocking liar. Hence my older sister was caught out and made to drink over a litre of water whilst she humorously slurred her words at my father!
My Dad passed away when I was 21 and he was 50. My memories of our summers at the caravan are some of my fondest memories of the time I spent with my Dad. Family trips are so important. You never know when a life will be cut short and what I have learnt is that you don’t get to take with you your sports car, or your expensive watch, but you do leave behind beautiful memories.
Live life well and love large.