When I was a kid, every summer we went to our favorite place in Delaware. Some people would not consider this place a hot vacation spot. But we loved it. We would look forward to going every year. It was a place called Oak Orchard (we would pronounce it as O-Gorchurd). There were no telephones in the house that we stayed in, no television. It was a time where families spent time doing things together. Slept with the windows open to get the cool breeze at night.
The sun would just be coming up, and my two older brothers and younger sister would wake up and throw on some shorts and shirt or put on our bathing suits and sneakers (these were important to wear while in the water, I will explain later). There was a wrap around porch at the house we stayed in. Right outside the kitchen we had two or three crab baskets that we used to catch the crabs. Bait was raw chicken. Which was kept in the fridge. We would grab a basket and some chicken, making sure the chicken was tied to the basket so the crabs couldn’t run off with it. Then we would tie a rope long enough that we could tie it to the pier and drop the basket in the water. Once we picked a spot at the end of the pier, we would sit next to it. Every few minutes, we would pull the line up inch by inch, checking to see if a crab was inside the basket. When we could see a crab in it, we would pull the rope up quickly, trapping the crab. Then we would yell, “I got one!” After a while, we mastered how to just open one side of the basket to dump the crab in the bucket we kept to collect the crabs we caught. Most days we would spend all day out on the pier catching crabs. We would stop when the sun was setting. Sometimes, we would just set the baskets open on the pier and come back for them the next day. Since we were there only ones there, we didn’t worry about anyone using them.
When we would get hungry, we would take a break and go in and get something to eat. Then back outside. Majority of our time was spent on the pier or on the little patch of beach when the tide didn’t come in. Here is where the sneakers come in. The bottom of the ocean was so dirty and muddy, sneakers were required. Otherwise you would get stuck or cut yourself on whatever was underwater that you couldn’t see.
We invented a game to play while playing out in the water. It was called, Who Flung Poo. How it worked was, you would reach down underwater and grab a handful of the mud and throw it at whoever you wanted to. As you threw it, you would yell out, “who flung poo”, and it would hit that person unless they ducked under water or swam away. Majority of the time it was a direct hit. By the time we were done playing that, we stunk and had to get showered before sitting down to dinner. There was a bathroom with a shower by the back door near the kitchen. My mom got us a change of clothes because we were too dirty to go upstairs for a change of clothes.
Dinner, you guessed it, was the crabs that we caught that day. It was so good, mom would fill the tray with crabs and everyone ate as many as they could eat. Then once we were all full, we would go play card games or board games. Then off to bed to rest up for another day of crabbing.
A few days before we were to leave to go home, we would all pile into the car and head to the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ. That was fun. It was where we would go to the arcades and buy souvenirs. Mom would buy fudge and salt water taffy. The boardwalk was a perfect ending to a really fun vacation.
It was the best vacation our family ever went on. We all have great memories of our time there. I am sure I will be posting other stories of my time there again. It was good to remember this. Happy ready!