Waiting For the Dads to Arrive!

13 Nov
A weekend group dinner.

A weekend group dinner.

During the week our bungalow colony was ruled by women. Yes there was always at least one Dad up, taking his vacation and being a presence. And we did have a few grandfathers. But mostly it was the Moms running things. Taking care of us, the bungalows and any problems that arose, be it emergency medical runs due to childhood injuries, dealing with the rain and cold weather, or just disciplining children who were running a bit wild for the summer.

From Monday mornings to Thursday, life was just fun. The Moms were pretty relaxed. They played mah jong and different card games. They knitted and chatted. They took us swimming and went for walks.

They did the laundry, cleaned and went grocery shopping. It was peaceful and fun.

But on Friday mornings, life began to change. It was time to get ready for the Dads arrival. And now the Moms were really busy.

Plans were made!

Would they go to a show or a movie? Which Dad was staying up for the next week? What would they wear? Were they going to have a group dinner this weekend? We usually did. With two sets of grandparents and aunts and uncles, at least once during the weekend we all ate a meal together. (This was before we moved out of the bungalow colony and up to the ‘big’ house. After that we did not always join them for meals. )

The plans were intense. Everything had to be perfect for when the Dads arrived late on Friday.

They would work all day in the City and then drive up for the weekend. It was a weekly exodus from the city to rejoin their families in the Catskills. The traffic was intense especially in the 1950s and 60s before the new highways were built. It took at least four hours to make the journey — a trip that now takes about two hours.

The children were on high alert. You did not want to misbehave on Friday. If you did during the week, it was not too bad, you got punished by your Mom. She might say that she was going to tell Dad when he came up. But any event that happened on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday was usually forgotten. However, misbehaving on a Friday was not a good idea. Moms usually remembered that!

We all got busy cleaning the bungalow and getting back into a semblance of order. Those little cabins were hard to keep clean and neat, especially with three little children. And even more difficult on rainy weeks when we were inside most of the time.

But on Friday, it was an all out effort to make the place look beautiful and cozy.

Often we were asleep when the Dads started arriving. But sometimes a Dad got off earlier and came up in time for dinner. Most of the time we were asleep when our Dad came up. And the excitement was on Saturday morning when we got to see him in the morning.

I think, looking back, that the Moms did love their time of freedom. It was much more relaxed during the week. The weekends were more hectic with shows, shopping and family activities.

We loved seeing our Dad and playing with him. Because our grandparents owned the bungalow colony, my Dad often had extra jobs to do on the weekends. But we all helped. It was just part of life!

The excitement of waiting for the Dads was sometimes too much. We would be so excited that we sometimes cried. And often we would bet which dad would be up first!

The fun and excitement lasted for just two days. On Sunday nights and early Monday mornings the Dads would leave once again. The quiet would return to the bungalows. And the slow, summer days would return until the next Friday.

6 Responses to “Waiting For the Dads to Arrive!”

  1. Neal Irving November 14, 2014 at 2:55 am #

    Thanks for the posts, some of which seem like shared memories of many former White Lake folks.

    Full disclosure: my grandparents, Rose and Morris Freedman, built and owned Freedman’s Lakeroad Cottages. Which colony was yours?

    • zicharon November 14, 2014 at 5:50 am #

      My grandparents owned Amsterdam bungalows on West Shore drive. Right opposite the Lake. Glad i bring back happy memories.

    • Mark Wunderman July 13, 2018 at 12:45 am #

      My father, Leo Wunderman, built a small house on a bit of land that he bought from Morris adjacent to the store at the bungalow colony. When my father passed away, in 1955, my mother sold the property back to Morris. I have fond childhood memories of West Shore Road.
      Mark Wunderman

      • zicharon July 13, 2018 at 7:13 am #

        As do I. I was there in June.

  2. Sudski Vestaci Građevinske Struke December 17, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the best sites
    on the web. I most certainly will highly recommend this blog!

    • zicharon December 28, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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