Creating fond summer memories that will last a lifetime

It was a blue and green day in summer and the heat shimmered on cement so hot you could fry an egg.

TREENA MIELKE

On The Other Side

It was a blue and green day in summer and the heat shimmered on cement so hot you could fry an egg.

There were six of us crowding onto two beach towels we had laid possessively on our own little square of sand, glaring daggers at trespassers who dared to put so much as a sandy toe on the sacred material.

Four of the six beach goers were under seven-years-of age so crowding wasn’t difficult, nor did it last too long, as the lure of the lake proved too strong.

Whew! It was hot.

I had skipped out of work early because as everyone knows, even a bad day at the beach is better than a good day stuck inside four walls trying and failing miserably at being productive.

It was a made to order go to the beach day. The child sitting beside me on the way to our destination had obviously borrowed some blue from the summer sky above for her eyes as the colour matched perfectly.

“You can have ice cream when we get there,” I told her as we began our journey.

“I don’t want an ice cream cone, grandma,” she said rather primly.

I smiled and said nothing, not bothering to explain to her that ice cream kind of goes with summer like ketchup goes with hot dogs and marshmallows with campfires.

We drove along the highway and I sang to her because that’s what I do when I’m in a car and it’s moving.

She looked at me like I was weird.

I smiled again. I am weird, but in a good way, I told her.

The highway was a dark ribbon winding its way through yellow fields to places where people sat on beach towels and ate ice cream and wiggled their toes in the hot sand and had all the time in the world to laugh and build sand castles and dream.

I was dressed inappropriately for the beach, of course, having come directly from the office, but I didn’t care. Once I had splashed a couple of my grandchildren, acting totally inappropriately for a grandma like I usually do, and they had splashed me back, my skirt became bedraggled anyway, sort of like a wet dishrag.

I knew this, but still I did not care.

Summer! It is such a delicious season, full of so many good things, not the least of which is the unexpected sight of fireflies lighting up dark ditches, or a random cascade of wild roses, breathing a fragrance like no other into the life of summer.

Summer, of course, is not like a magic wand waved by some fairy godmother that makes adult stuff go away.

There is, and will always and forever be, bills to pay, lawns to mow with cranky lawnmowers, laundry to finish, meals to cook, and work, endless and relentless, stretching on to forever.

And there will be not enough time in the day to get it all done, nights where much needed sleep won’t come and alarms that jolt the most peaceful dreamers back to reality.

But, for all of us, summer is kind of like an unwrapped gift holding moments gone in a flash but remembered for a lifetime.

My daughter and I and our parcel of kids trooped into the ice cream store.

And the child who had somehow captured the blue of the summer sky for her eyes looked at me earnestly and said “strawberry, grandma, I want a strawberry ice cream cone.”

I smiled. Without knowing it, she did it.

She gave me a memory.

I put the memory away, but no doubt, I will bring it out again in winter, when summer, once again, seems only a fantasy, far away and illusive.

“I think I’ll have strawberry, too,” I said. And it is good!

 

Just Posted

Shots fired during Sylvan Lake and area crime spree

Sylvan Lake RCMP worked with other agencies to arrest four over the long weekend

Sylvan Lake McDonald’s raises more than $5,000 during McHappy Day

Year to date, the Sylvan Lake location has raised over $13,000 through fundraising efforts

Red Deer County firefighters dispatched to High Level

Four crew members and a fire engine are assisting in battling the out of control wild fire

Sylvan Lake family ‘humbled’ by support as son undergoes cancer treatment

Zane Baker was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017 and will now travel to Florida for treatment

Sylvan Lake increases Municipal Enforcement activity along lakefront

With more activity in the downtown and lakefront area, officers will be more visible during summer

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Alberta NDP cries foul as Speaker Cooper names new legislature clerk

Shannon Dean will replace Merwan Saher as the clerk of the assembly effective immediately

‘Her life mattered:’ New trial ordered in death of Indigenous woman Cindy Gladue

In a 4-3 decision, Supreme Court said evidence about Cindy Gladue’s sexual history was mishandled

Emergency funds for High Level evacuees to start flowing by Monday

About 5,000 people in High Level and surrounding communities have been out of their homes for a week

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

No-vote option: Alberta legislature changing rules to allow MLAs to abstain

The changes are expected to pass, given that Kenney’s party has a majority of seats

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read