Growing up on a Fishing Resort, I learned early we were dependent on other people, for its success. My dad was one of six sons who were brothers and half-brothers. Each owned their own business.
The oldest ran a restaurant. Hobson’s Café was the town hang out spot for youth. There we waited to get picked up after in-town activities. The Café was not only a safe place for us kids, but a place they knew family was watching.
The second brother owned a gas station. He repaired cars, lawnmowers and the outboard motors, we needed for our boats. The third brother had a beauty shop, where the women in the family got their hair done. My dad’s youngest brother owned a farm. But, it was another brother, who saved us time and again.
Holiday weekends were busy for the whole family. The resort included cabins, boats for rent, indoor space for dining and miscellaneous things for sale. My parents got us up early those weekends to help out. Cabins were full and customers were looking for worms, minnows and meals.
Almost inevitably though, at least two of the three big summer holiday weekends, our well would go out. The extra draw on our water supply aggravated an already strained system. No water in the cabins made for upset customers. Meanwhile, in the heart of the resort, without water for dishes, or safely handling food, cooking came to a standstill. We were down to selling chips, drinks and Twinkies.
By then, my dad had put in an emergency call to my uncle Burt, who was both a plumber and well digger. Sometimes he would find an easy fix. If we were lucky, a broken part on the water pump just needed to be replaced. Other times, the solution would be more complicated and would take most of a day. We groaned when we heard the sound of two hundred plus feet of pipe being pulled up from the well, knowing it would be a long time before water was available again.
While our busy holiday weekend was messed up, my uncle’s holiday weekend was spent repairing our well, instead of taking time off for rest and renewal.
Today, with many families fractured by political and religious beliefs, I think of how my dad’s siblings supported one another. I’m sure there were arguments I never heard and disagreements over issues, I knew nothing of. Religious differences existed. Yet, in the midst of it all, love and support for each other was greater. The Psalmist says of this:
How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
life for evermore. Psalm 133: 1, 3