Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Going To The Country?

I haven't figured out whether this is one of those things that you don't realize until you're an adult, or something that's actually changed, but you'll let me know.

It seems that people are much more back and forth from the country than they used to be.

Maybe when I was a kid, the economy was in a better place, and most mothers were able to have summers off; they only visited the city for a Simcha, or if G-d forbid, there was an emergency.

To me, the city ceased to exist for July and August. When we returned, the house was immaculate (how much damage could my father have done on his own?), and that first drive through the neighborhood shook me back into reality. The one that was about to start all over again. It was back to uniforms, school, and homework.

"This store closed down; this one opened up; this one got a new sign/awning..." we'd comment as we drove down the deserted streets late Saturday night.

A buncha years ago, my mother began to work during the summers, and a few years later, I was attending college here, so the country ceased to exist in my mind. Woodbourne was just a memory. South Fallsburg? Maybe I passed through once on my way to Wal-Mart.

But it feels like that separation no longer exists. More mothers are venturing back into the city during the week to work. The trip doesn't seem as long as it used to (despite rising fuel costs), and it isn't as much of a hassle.

People nonchalantly "go up" at the drop of a hat for a weekend, or a few days, especially with the advent of "summer homes" that are winterized and allow for a getaway all year.

I mean, I heard that Route 17 New York that we use is a relatively recent thing, and the trip used to be longer, but that was waaay before my time. I just remember when I was a kid, "going up" usually just meant at the end of June, and that was it.

When my father arrived Thursday night, my mother always reminded me that "Daddy had a long trip here..." and I thought of that endless drive to our bungalow and wondered how he endured that each week. Whereas now, when men and women make the trip multiple times a week, it's seen as less "long." I still wonder how people endure that (especially the drivers) each week.

Last summer, parking was not as easy as it had been the past few summers. Streets were not as deserted. Now I see more schoolbusses for daycamps. These daycamps, some of which have been around for years, seem brimming with kids. (Although I was never around as a child to see what they looked like 15 years ago)

So, is it just me, or do people travel to and from the country more frequently now? And if they do, why is that? Or am I just noticing this because I'm older?

*btw, I know the "is it just me" bit belongs on my other blog, but I figured it related here too.


At 7/02/2008 9:11 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

the city and the daycamps seem fuller cuz it IS fuller. people cannot afford to go away anymore. some people only go for half a summer. life is getting very expensive.

i'm still waiting for the stores to empty out so i can shop in peace and quiet. it aint happening :D

At 7/03/2008 9:35 AM, Blogger David said...

It's interesting that Brooklyn people talk about "the country" as if it's a necessity, as if everyone in the world does it. Do you not realize that having a summer home is a major, major luxury?

At 7/03/2008 10:00 AM, Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Do you not realize that having a summer home is a major, major luxury?

Only for those who have winterized places. Plenty of people to go bungalow colonies that rent for 3 to 6 thousand dollars for the summer. Small change it isn't, but it's not a luxury either.

At 7/03/2008 11:56 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Yes, I realize that it's a luxury!!
But many people go up, like LWY says, to bungalows and the like as well.

$3,000-$6,000, as he points out, is not pocket change either.

At 7/07/2008 11:57 PM, Blogger הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Traditionally, New York City residents (non-Jewish ones) did go 'up-state' for the weekends 'at the drop of a hat'...

At 7/09/2008 10:09 AM, Blogger Tova Stulman said...

I was acutally just thinking about how much the sleepaway camp experience has changed. Cell phones and blackberries, etc., take away from the magic of roughing it and truly enjoying the camping feel. Also, the fun of sneaking calls to your parents at camp is wasted if you have access to them all the time via cell.
Yup, I for sure would not have had the same Sternberg experience if I was able to call my mom every day.
Sorry to go off on this tangent.

At 7/09/2008 6:35 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Tova- even though I've never been to camp, I see what you're saying.
Especially with these new camps opening with nice facilities, it's not like what I saw on school Shabbatons, ya know?

At 7/11/2008 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We now officially sound like our parents reminiscing about the good old days!

At 8/06/2008 2:28 PM, Blogger Bas~Melech said...

Good point. I, for one, do much more shuttling back and forth than ever before. I blamed it on adulthood, but come to think of it the adults didn't do this when I was a kid. Basically, moms and kids stayed in the country and everyone else stayed in the city because they had to work.

At 9/23/2008 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course 'work' is now a dirty word in certain circles!


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