Day 7 Seven Days Off
June 7, 1982. Priscilla Presley opened Graceland to the public.
Many Elvis fans have taken vacations to Memphis just so they can tour Graceland.
Where would you like to visit on your next vacation? What would you do with seven days off? What is your idea of a perfect week-long vacation?
Alternatively, write about a vacation you took in the past.
I decided to do the June 7 challenge today because tomorrow is a full day at work, and I won’t have time to write as much as I’d like.
June 7 is special because it’s our anniversary. This year marks 47 years for us. So hard to realize how much time has gone by since that walk down the aisle and the “I do” we promised each other.
It’s been a journey, for sure. I won’t try to wrap 47 years into one post, though. I thought I’d tell you, instead, about our honeymoon.
Our wet, cold, inside-almost-all-the-time honeymoon.
Terry grew up in northern Michigan. Yes, he’s a Yooper. For those not in the know, that’s someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, someone from the UP, also known as a Yooper.
You didn’t know Michigan had an upper peninsula? Neither did I until Terry came into my life. It’s joined by land to Wisconsin. It’s attached to the rest of Michigan by the Mackinac Bridge, which is really quite breathtaking.
It’s the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world, crossing Lakes Michigan and Huron. If you like bridges, you should look it up. It has an interesting history.
Anyway, loving the outdoors as he does, Terry thought his dad’s hunting camp would be the ideal place for our honeymoon. I’d been there, and it was in a delightful location. It wasn’t the Taj Mahal, mind you, but it wasn’t a lean-to with an outhouse, either. Well, there was an outhouse. But it was fresh and clean and odorless because of the way it had been placed, and I wasn’t too concerned about it. I’d had to use an outhouse more than once in my life.
The cabin was tucked away off the road, right beside a pretty little river in which the water was so clear you could literally see every stone and grain of sand on the bottom. It was fed by a bubbling spring from which we would get our water for cooking, drinking, and bathing.
Um. Really? Ok, I can do this. City girl, but not helpless. The water for bathing would have to be heated on the stove, which if memory serves, was wood-fueled. I could be wrong about that. All I remember is that I didn’t know how to use it at first. So where’s the bathtub? WHERE??
Hanging on the side of the cabin–OUTSIDE of the cabin, mind you. I couldn’t reach it. It was a big tin washtub, round, with sides maybe a foot high.
Oh boy. I’m beginning to be uneasy. Just a tad.
Well, we got there and Terry started up the heater because Upper Michigan has one warm day each year, and it wasn’t there yet. I don’t remember what we ate, or who cooked it. Probably Terry did.
The cabin was spotlessly clean. His parents had been up and opened it up from it’s long winter’s nap, cleaning and getting it ready for us. They even put up a banner that said “Welcome, Newlyweds” in his dad’s artistic script. It was furnished with typical cabin-y furniture, comfortable and homey. Welcoming. But cold. Really cold.
And we no sooner got moved in than it started to rain. I’m talking about biblical Flood-type rain. Rain that lasted for hours. . . . .and hours. . . . .and days. . . . .
At first, Terry would say, “Don’t you love the sound of the rain on the roof?”
After a while, it just wasn’t charming any more. The trips to the outhouse required an ark. The trips to the spring to get water? He used his dad’s hip waders. It did warm up in the cabin after a while, but it was just damp and icky outside. Not exactly a getaway to the South Pacific.
We talked. We cooked, ate, cleaned up, played a couple of board games. We took a couple of long drives in the rain. The UP is a really pretty place, and we enjoyed viewing the scenery through the rain.
Finally, it stopped and the sun came out. The day before we left, it was actually pretty nice–until I decided to slosh around the cabin to see what was what, and came up against about a dozen snakes stretched out on a rock, soaking in the sun. I swear they had little bottles of suntan lotion and Coca Cola!
My scream must have echoed all the way to Niagara. I HATE SNAKES! There is NOTHING that terrifies me any more than a snake, and here was a whole nudist snake colony right outside the back window of our honeymoon cabin.
I had accepted the outhouse. I had adapted to the process of getting spring water and heating it up; of cooking on an unfamiliar stove; of being rained in, no phone, no TV,not even a radio, and taking a bath in a galvanized bucket. Talk about the opportunity to get to know each other!
I drew the line, though, at snakes. Nope. Nope,nope,nope.
I was in complete meltdown. Terry thought someone must have tried to murder me. Poor guy came running, ready to take down the terrorists who had made his bride scream like a banshee. “Where? What? Who?” He hollered as he bounded over rocks as big as houses.
“There! SNAKES!! AAAAGGGGGHHHH!!”
I will never, ever forget the look on his face. I’m laughing now, but I was so mad then that I might even have been willing to wring his neck with one of those scaly horrors. He was first astonished, then amazed, and finally laughing his fool head off.
“Linda, they’re garter snakes. They don’t hurt anyone. You don’t need to be afraid.” By this time the poor man was bent over, hands on his knees, laughing so hard he was crying. When I started pounding his arm with my fists, he laughed even harder.
I finally stalked off in utter disgust and humiliation.
“I will not come back outside. There had better not be any of those horrible things inside. You’d better quit laughing at me or this marriage is going to be very, very short.”
Well, since then he’s come to know a lot more about me and snakes, and although he doesn’t understand it, he’s learned to laugh somewhere else.
And that was my honeymoon. I hope those snakes got fried to crispy critters.