Friday, May 23, 2008

Some of the Bathing Beauties in My Family

Memorial Weekend is finally here! Yeah! It's time to enjoy ice cream cones and iced tea, fireworks and festivals, barbecues and beaches. No hat or coat required :-)

Here in Michigan you're never far from a lake, stream, river, or pond. And some of our lakes are real whoppers ;-) Back in the old days, before air conditioning became commonplace, people were drawn like magnets to bodies of water. A cool breeze off the lake or river was oh so refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. And if you really wanted to cool off, a plunge in the water was all it took.

Here's a look at some of the bathing beauties in my family enjoying a day at the beach. The top photo was taken in the summer of 1937 at Orchard Lake (Michigan). The ladies in the picture are all from the choir at Assumption BVM Church in Detroit. My mom said that every summer the pastor would sponsor a day at Orchard Lake for all the members of the choir as sort of an appreciation day for all their hard work throughout the year. They would bring their swimsuits along and after enjoying a lovely picnic lunch provided for them they would head for the lake. My mom is on the left in the back row. Her sister is in the center of the back row. My mom really enjoyed those outings and the happy memories stayed with her her whole life.

The bottom photo was taken of my mom on August 7, 1943 at Detroit Beach. She'd spent a day at the beach with friends. I have other photos taken that same day and it sure looks like everyone had a good time. The body of water in the background was Lake Erie.

The photo on the left was taken in the summer of 1945. If I'm not mistaken it was taken at Burt Lake in northern Michigan. The ladies pictured are two of my aunts. On the left is Genevieve who we affectionately called "Auntie Ghee". She's the aunt we stayed with when our house was being restored after the fire. On the right is Cecilia who always went by "Auntie Ceily". She was my godmother and was always very special to me. One of these days I'm going to write a tribute to her. Anyway, Ceily had a cottage at Burt Lake and I think all of her 10 siblings and their families spent time up there at one time or another.

We still enjoy our rivers and lakes now but they aren't nearly as compelling when we have air conditioned cars, homes, and business environments to provide relief from the heat and humidity. But it sure is fun to look back at the bathing beauties in the family and remember a time when relief from the summer heat meant a dip in the lake!

There's only 14 weeks until Labor Day so get outside and make the most of summer!

The digi-scrapping kit I used is called, "Green" by Kubivet. It's a lovely freebie. Go get it ;-)