Fond Memories of The Campground
|My first fishing outing!|
Going to my grandparent’s home was always an anticipated visit as a child. They owned an old camp ground in Benton PA; it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. I loved going there. Aunts, Uncles and cousins would flock here for family gatherings. Here is where we would walk the trails in the fern engulfed woods. We would twist and weave until we reached the top, where an old bench lay, facing a pretty view of the mountains. The look-out was always the destination, but the fun part was taking a different path down. My Uncle David and Aunt Carol almost built a house here. I say almost, because at the edge of the trail, in the dense pines, stands a decomposing foundation, with soft planks of wood covered in light swirly moss.
A creek lay ahead of my grandparents white two story home. A babbling icy cold stream, where we grandkids would busy ourselves with catching salamanders, building dams and finding quick sand. I still remember daring one another and gaining the courage to jump in on those sweltering days. Even with sweat dripping down our noses, one second on the frigid stream would chill us to the core. It never stopped us from exploringthe freezing flowing, liquid.
Grandpa had a big old red barn, where he whittled up a many wooden creations. He was very gifted, he made me a doll house, my sister a cradle for her dolls, replicas of buildings and a couple really cool mini carnivals, made out of wood and geared by electricity. Us kids would pile into the red barn and admire his latest work. We would also watch the adults play darts and sometimes play ourselves with parents’ supervision of course.
When the trails, barn and stream have been exhausted, the playground was a wonderful place to wander. We would stay busy climbing the jungle gym, zipping down the slide and flying high in the swings. Usually a game of baseball or kick ball would start in the field under the setting orange sun. Next to the playground is a sprawling pond where I caught my first fish, a sunny. Grandpa would instruct us in being patient and holding the rod still and steady. Catching frogs and toads and steering clear of snakes was also on the list.
My mom is number five of seven Senavitis kids, so there was always someone visiting Grandma and Grandpa. Laughter, conversation, and a game of cards were always in session when the sun went down. This was Grandma’s forte. She would join us at the dining room table along with my Aunts and teach us the wonderful games, of Go Fish, Uno, Hearts, Rummy, and many more games involving a deck of cards. Chips, dip, pretzels and pies adorned the tables as we endlessly chatted and learned new games. Grandma and my Aunts and mom were notorious for their delicious flaky desserts. Sometimes we would help them in their efforts to create delicious meals and decadent sweets. . I still remember the fresh baked smell from the kitchen as well as soft country music playing in the background.
The Dads and Uncles would flock to the living room, where Uncle Donald the King of movies would have the latest movie in the VCR. He always brought some to share.
Grandpa was a world class story teller, and all of us grandkids would gather round his feet just before bed time. It was the only time that there was complete silence as we listened intently to the stories he would concoct. Magical fairies, grasshoppers and leprechauns would mingle and form in our little heads as we eagerly imagined and awaited the next clue to the story. I will always cherish those mystical characters, full of colorful personalities and daring adventures. It gave us something exciting to dream of, and another wonderful memory to hold dear.
Typically we kids would pile into the upstairs bedroom where there stood a second floor screened in porch. We would camp out here, enjoying the chilled night air, as we would whisper and listen to the sounds of hooting owls, and scavenging raccoons. I have so many fond memories of the camp ground and my family who would meet there. It will always be an idyllic, cherished memory.