Ohio River Traditions

                       Whitman. Twain. Melville. VanSchaik. (I’m the tan one)

        Yes, that is a list of a few of America’s greatest writers. But it means something else to me.

     You see, every summer for the past five years, I’ve managed to take a short mid year holiday at a rental house on the Ohio River. I discovered these rentals when I was hoping to escape the trials and turmoil surrounding my family several years ago. Since that first visit the mid summer trip to the holiday rental house has become many things.

   It is still that getaway along the banks of the Ohio River. It is confirmation that my family and I are still here, surviving and even thriving for another year. It is the place that confirms I have worked hard all year and earned this time off. It also gives us the place to tell other folks we go “every  year”, which presents to those folks a picture of stability in our lives. It is also simply fun to physically remove oneself from day to day life. Speaking for myself, I have also found spiritual renewal on the banks of the Ohio River. I will, can and must return every year. 

     As we have visited the rental house each year, we have created our own traditions: a visit to the “swimmin’ hole not far away, a trip to Tell City Pretzels, floating on inner tubes off the dock.

    A tradition of mine is  always bringing a book to read. Not just any type of book. One that is as American as the Ohio River, corn fields and small towns. So, I started with Huckleberry Finn. Last year it rained so I was able to read a good deal of Moby Dick. I most often buy a copy of the book I have chosen second hand, so I can leave it for the rental’s library- a wicker basket on the floor in the living room.

      It is still winter as I write this post. It is a good time to be thinking of the summer getaway. I use my tax return money to fund this annual pilgrimage. That dinero grande is due in a couple weeks. I have already decided to add one more item to the list of traditions experienced on the banks of the mighty Ohio. This summer during the trip, as my future place in American Letters demands, I will leave a copy of Tripio in that wicker basket on the floor of the rental house.

                                                        May I help who’s next?

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