Since my parents were free lancers and worked at home, they could take long summers away from the city. This depended on the school year, but we usually went away for at least three months.
A lot of the vacations were spent in Manasquan, NJ at my grandparent's house at 45 Parker Avenue. Sometimes a month or just weekends. My grandfather was a printer and a notary public, also an elder of The Friends Meeting. He would get up early Sunday mornings to stoke the furnace at the meeting house. My aunt Nanny later became the secretary there and my aunt Gillette played the piano.
My grandmother Trafford was something of a prima donna. She would sit at the piano in the parlor singing areas. The downstairs at 45 Parker Avenue had a parlor, dining room, kitchen, and the old kitchen that my grandfather used for his printing press. The upstairs had three bedrooms and a bathroom. There was an attic with shelves of colored paper that my grandfather used in printing pamphlets. Nice, ready to use colored paper...and I did, reducing his supply quite a bit.
Below is a watercolor of my grandfather reading in his bedroom, painted by Jack. Ther was a floor to ceiling bookcase in his room that held books on Abraham Lincoln, his hero.
The attic was a large space with skylights and a wood stove, where my parents slept, and a small room that held the childhood of my mother and her siblings. Toys and sport's gear, small tables and chairs and boxes of wonderful books, that my cousin Mary and I gobbled up.
Susan and i slept in the blue bedroom, that had twin beds. You could lie there at night and hear the bump, bump of the cars passing by and see the headlights reflected on the wall.
There was a wrap around porch on the house with an entrance to the dining room on the side.
The beach was about two miles away, My parents liked the more secluded, empty beach, while we wanted to go to the main beach that had the penny arcade.
These were great summers. I had my cousind to play with, and there was swimming, picnics and the movie house was at the end of the block, where you would meet all your neighbors on Saturday night.You could walk to Main Street and buy everything you wanted, without a car. My grandfather rode a bicycle all his life. I don't think he could even drive.
All this ended when my grandfather died when I was eight years old and the house was sold. It's amazing how much I remember of this house. Happy childhood, I guess.