Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Trips "Home"

Throughout the years that my growing-up family lived in northern Ohio, we often made the trip back to little Frostburg, Maryland, to see the rest of the family. All the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the cousins lived there. We usually went over holidays because there was no work or school keeping us put in Ohio where we'd moved so that Dad could pursue a career in managing a plastics plant. (See a post about us leaving for Ohio here, and another post about the early years in Ohio here.)

These trips were quite the adventure for me! The most fun was when we had a new station wagon with the back deck packed with all manner of stuff - clothes, toys, and food - and a bit of room where a tired kid could curl up with a book and lay down to nap or read.

I remember way back before the Ohio Turnpike was finished. It was built from 1952, the year we moved to Cleveland and completed, mostly, by 1955 and you can read about it here. As the road was built it would go along and then end, and when it did we'd get off, stop for a break, and pick our way over local roads. We saw more on those roads and I really liked them better but it made the trip longer too. The very best part of the toll road was the service plaza where Dad could fill up the tank with "regular" and Mom took us to the rest room or snack bar.

Can't remember how long that trip took and it probably varied by the weather and how much of the turnpike was completed, but four hours sticks in my mind... and maybe that was just my time limit on behaving on a car ride. The Ohio Turnpike eventually turned into the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which we took to Somerset. If timing was good and we were good, we could talk Dad into stopping for an ice cream cone in Somerset.

From there it was all local roads winding through the most beautiful rolling hills I can remember. We might have gone through Berlin or Myersdale and West Salisbury because there were a couple of ways to go. I think we ended up on Finzel Road, but that easily could be wrong. It was, summer or winter, a wonderful drive for me.

Mom and Dad usually got increasingly more excited on the last stretch of road and finally with about ten minutes left before arrival at the grandparents, we'd get a spruce up which consisted of a thorough combing of hair and face-check for stray chocolate ice cream smears. "Don't want you looking like rag-a-muffins," Mom would say. Never knew what a rag-a-muffin was until I just now looked it up, and you know what, it's just what I thought!

Mom and Dad enjoyed these trips home, I could tell. Dad was doing very well and proud of it. Mom looked gorgeous, always, and sported some wonderful outfit she had sewn herself from the latest Vogue pattern. They felt good seeing family and being able to tell of their good fortune in life to those who mattered.

And me, I just loved playing with my cousins!

Front row: Cousin Mike, Me
Back row: Dad Pat Kelly, Grandma Helen Zeller Kelly, Grandpa Lee Kelly,
Uncle Bernie Kelly, Aunt Ruth Kelly.
Brother, Mom, Dad, Me, unknown cat.

Family picnic in a Kelly backyard.

Easter in Frostburg:
Dad holding Brother, Me, Aunte Petie Williams and Cousins Mike and JC in front,
Back right: Grandpa Cambria Williams and Mom.

Sentimental Sunday is a lovely topic from Geneabloggers , and I thank them for this blogging prompt!

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