Every summer weekend, during the first 12 years of my life, my family would pack our things in the car to head south. As my dad maticulously packed the car so everything would fit a family of 7, he’d yell out to my brothers and I, “Go get your Polish suitcase!” Yes, we had Polish suitcases…otherwise known as a brown grocery bag. My little clothes for two days fit perfectly in my Polish suitcase. This memory brings a grin to my face. I wonder, was this a well-known piece of luggage in other households or was this just my dad being his goofy self?
Twenty minutes later, we’d stick our heads out the car windows as my father slowed down so we could greet the cows in their native tongue, “Moooooo!!” Jostling side-by-side and to-and-fro we knew the dirt road we were on meant minutes to a fun-filled weekend at the cottage.
The best weekend for me was the end of June when aunts, uncles and cousins would arrive to celebrate my birthday. Our Polish heritage was in rare form. We had Polkas blaring from our portable radios during the Polka-Time radio show for 3 hours on Saturday afternoon. One adult would sneak away to the party-line telephone and call in a special request wishing me a very special birthday. It was such a treat to hear my name announced on the radio and a song played in my honor. I felt like a celebrity on my birthday.
I wish I could turn back the hands of time and spend one more birthday at the cottage with the family. The clang of horseshoes, water splashing in the lake and people baking in the sun…what a carefree life. The celebration was topped off with birthday cake made by the talented, loving hands of my mother. Always delicious.
My birthday is June 24. Although many of the family members that used to celebrate with me are in Heaven now, and the cottage has been sold many years ago, I will cherish these memories forever.
Psalm 146:2 (NIV)
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.