The Story of Our Childhood
by the Children of
Donald Graham Dick and Bertha May Neisinger Dick"
At A Motel
1957 Vacation
I don't remember our family taking many vacation trips together. I don't think vacations were something that everyone tried to do in those days, but perhaps it was just that we couldn't afford to take our big family anywhere very expensive. However, we did take a couple of trips out to the Olympic Peninsula and the Sol Duc Hot Springs. None of us were swimmers, but I think it was there that I learned to dogpaddle a bit. Of course the nice thing about the hot springs was that the water was warm. It also smelled like sulphur, but we could endure that because we didn't have to shiver and brace ourselves to get into cold water. I think those were about the only times that I remember Mother and Daddy swimming with us, although I saw pictures of them at Soap lake when I was about four years old.
Soap Lake

Shirley (4) & Sharon (17 mos) with swimsuit-clad Mommy at Soap Lake
I remember that Mother usually swam with a kind of side stroke. Interestingly, that's the easiest way for me to swim too.

On those trips we all stayed in one room in a motel. On one trip the youngest two kids got to sleep at the foot of Mother and Daddy's bed, but three of us had to sleep on blankets on the floor. Oh, how hard that floor was. I could feel my bones pressing up against the hard floor. I didn't sleep very well that night. On another trip we again all stayed in one room. This time there must have been two beds, because I think all five of us girls got to sleep in a bed - one bed - three at the top, and two at the bottom. It was a little crowded, but at least our bones didn't hurt.

One time Daddy took us "fishing" at a commercial fishing pond. That was a great success because we all caught fish. I don't remember if we got to take those fish home and eat them. The fun part for us was just being able to catch them.
Riding The Horses

Shirley & Sharon (On the horse that got loose!) & guide on Horseback
Another time we took a trip to Camp Giliad. I think we just went up to see the camp, not to stay overnight, but while we were there we got to ride the horses. I was pretty nervous about that, having never ridden a horse by myself before, but we each were put on a horse and rode single-file through a woodsy section of the camp. Fortunately, the horses moved kind of slow and easy, and we made it back safely. There was a scary moment there, though. At one point when someone (I can't remember if it was one of us or someone else) was first put on their horse, the horse got nervous and reared up a bit. We feared they would fall off. The handler from the camp didn't seem to be able to control the horse, so Daddy stepped right up, took the reins and quickly calmed the horse. Boy, were we proud of our dad for being the hero that day!
On The Ferry headed for Canada

On The "Princess Elaine" Ferry, Headed for Canada in 1957
Shirley, Mother, Eileen, Jeanie, Judie, Daddy
(Mother is Pregnant with Jimmy)
(Sharon took the Picture)
The last family vacation I remember was a trip to Victoria Island and the Butchart Gardens. What a beautiful place that was with so many paths wandering through terraced flowering gardens and across arched bridges over little rippling streams. I've always thought I'd like to go back there again. That was also my first time in a foreign country.
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