Life and Spiritual Coaching

July 26, 2008

Youthful Summers

Filed under: Family — by Donna Ritter @ 12:13 pm

Every summer my family would travel to New England where my extended family lived. We lived in New Orleans. My Mom had 3 sisters (of which she was the youngest) and 2 brothers. One is only 5 years older than me and my Grandmother and my oldest Aunt were pregnant at the same time!


Since my Dad was a professor, he could not get away for a month, so my Mother and us kids went first and then my father joined us for the last 2 weeks. My Mom’s family was big and lived in New York and Connecticut. My Dad was an only child and lived in Massachusetts. His parents doted on us since we were the only of their grandchildren. They had a boat that they named Daba (D for the first letter of my name, A for the last letter of my name) and a dingy named Scotty for my brother who was 13 years younger than I was. We would take the boat out and catch fresh lobsters in traps and boil them on the boat.


After my brother was born we moved to a larger house. In high school my best friend had a baby when she was 15 and we would walk the babies around. I pretended Scotty was mine and spent my allowance buying him cute clothes. He was actually born in California when my Dad was on sabbatical.


The only other vacations we took were to Destin Beach in Alabama and the panhandle of Florida – both of which had beautiful white sandy beaches.


In Hurricane Betsy, my parents house was flooded with 4 feet of water and we couldn’t live there for some time. Luckily, the church helped my parents rebuild.


One thing my Dad (the professor) was always strict about was the classes I took. I had to have 4 years each of Math, English, Social Studies and Science. This served me very well once I got to college. My parents had me tested and apparently I had a higher IQ than my Dad (which he never mentioned) so they tried to get me to go to a special college prep high school, but I wouldn’t hear of it. I would miss al my friends!


I grew up in the baby boomer years and was a big hippy. I dabbled in drugs, but was such a tight wad that I never bought my own things. To my Dad’s credit, he sat me down and explained that he didn’t necessarily think drugs were bad, but dealers cut them with rat poison to get a quick high. He said he knew about these things since he was on campus and helped college kids that had problems. He just wanted me to be careful.

That was the great thing about my Dad. He never yelled at me, but I knew if I disappointed him be his look and I avoided that at all cost. I made great grades and was always respectful to my parents. I would never want to be a teenager again!

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