A day in summer

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

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

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 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 go order 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 color 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 smile again. I am weird, but in a good way, I tell 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 did not 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 would become 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 fairly godmother that makes adult stuff go away. 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 troop into the ice cream store.

And the child who has 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 smile. Without knowing it, she did it. She gave me a memory.

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

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

Treena Mielke is editor of the Rimbey Review and a columnist for Black Press.

 

Just Posted

City of Wetaskiwin fire chief no longer employed there

Leigh Sawicki was director of emergency services for five years

Wetaskiwin Icemen, The Brick team up for ‘bears’

‘Bear Toss’ for The Stollery Children’s Hospital

Traffic circles: good or bad?

Some say traffic in Alberta doesn’t justify cost of traffic circles

Town of Millet hires new Manager of Enforcement Services

Mitch Newton has over decade of experience in enforcement field

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Canadian physicist who won Nobel Prize touts science for the sake of science

Donna Strickland, 59, said securing the field’s highest honour has given her a significant new platform

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Most Read