As a family, we only went on one vacation for an extended period of time. This was because my parents quarreled often. Certainly the money wasn’t a problem since Dad had a well-paying job at the Sherrit Gordon plant.
Being the only true family vacation, I remember it well. The first day at the Sylvan Lake resort was particularly packed with fun. As soon as it was warm outside, Mom dressed Diane, Roy, and me in bathing suits. We needed no urging to head for the beach and the lake beyond. The only admonition I remembered Mom giving Diane and me was to look after Roy. He was only two years old while Diane and I were four and five respectively.
In the early sixties, people didn’t worry about skin cancer from exposure to the sun. Consequently, the three of us received bad sunburns. As Mom smeared my back with sunburn lotion, I complained about the pain.
“Well, you shouldn’t have stayed out in the sun so long,” she admonished. ” I told you kids not to play too long in the water.”
That was no comfort at all and the cream didn’t help much either. We had a hard time going to sleep that night because of the stinging sunburn pain.
Mom smeared sun tan lotion on our skin after that day. Though we couldn’t go into the water because it would wash off, we still had fun playing on the beach. We also had fun exploring the resort during that sunlit vacation.
Little did I know then but my life would radically change three years later. The Government of Alberta convinced my parents to send me to a school for the blind in Vancouver, five hundred miles from home. I wrote about the impact that had on me in Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. Visit my Bruce Atchison’s books link for more information about that matter-of-fact memoir of institutional life.
Speaking of books, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is out. Visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers to learn more about this story of God’s providential care.