Summer, So Far

Because of all the flood craziness around here, it feels like it’s been months since the kids were in school, when in reality it’s only been, officially, four days. It has been sunny, warm, and dry here which I am hoping will expedite the death of the billions of gargantuan mosquitoes in the city. The mosquito situation was crazy before the flooding; now they are epic. They seem to really love my bootiliciousness since they bite right through the seat and back pockets of my jeans. Forget the wisdom of wearing long sleeved shirts and pants to avoid getting bitten; these babies are so desperate for my apparently super succulent blood they go through sweaters and thick denim. My friend Nan mentioned that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours – specifically black – which explains things somewhat. In other words, I need a whole new wardrobe. Watch for my new look, which will consist of pale pink items bought from Northern Reflections.

We headed up to my parents’ lakeside place this weekend, and on the way I saw a billboard advertising the World Plowing Championship. Before you think this is something pornographic, let me hasten to assure you that the World Plowing Championship involves tractors and other farm machinery. I immediately imagined something akin to the tractor scene in Footloose, involving non-Kevin-Bacon-like individuals. I wonder who are the winners of past World Plowing Championships and if that title is something that grants the holder of special privileges. Very special privileges, if you know what I’m talking about. I imagine this ratchets up the datability of the title holder in certain circles.

We had a fantastic weekend at my parents’, and now we are all somewhat petulant about being back in the city. My dad said something this weekend that struck me as fairly accurate, in terms of travelling with children: kids pretty much enjoy any holiday, wherever such holiday takes place. The majority of my childhood summers were spent a) visiting relatives in southeastern Saskatchewan, and b) attending Bible Camp. Neither of those things may sound all that thrilling, but I always looked forward to them with great anticipation and enjoyed them thoroughly. Spending my days with my cousins in the outdoor swimming pool that had myriad dead bugs floating in it, being evacuated due to severe prairie thunderstorms, were nothing except fun. Playing in the ice-cold lake and making crafts out of crosses and going to chapel morning and night, that was the height of summer camp enjoyment for me.

I think of my own lucky, lucky children and wonder what kind of summertime memories they will have. I wonder if they will remember the hours spent playing with a fishing rod with a stick tied to its line, christened “Sticky”, and how they made up a game and enormous backstory for humble Sticky. I wonder if they will remember how we spent our first day of summer vacation in the pool and I neglected to reapply sunscreen and they got their first (mild, I hasten to say) sunburns. I wonder if they will remember how I frantically sent their father out to drive into town to buy the cortisone cream that I forgot to pack when it was evident one of my children was having a weird allergic reaction to…something…and was covered with angry, raised red hives, and then their father got stuck in one of those severe prairie thunderstorms, unable to see the road in front of him, hail pelting the car. I wonder if they will remember the water gun fights, the trips to town with Grandma and Grandpa for ice cream, the small-town Rotary Club Canada Day celebrations. It occurred to me today that it might not be much longer that they want to play in those bouncy structured supervised by the glummest looking teenagers ever – in fact, one day perhaps they will be those downtrodden looking teenagers telling kids to slide down feet first. It’s hard to imagine.


  1. Bible camp! I went to Bible camp! It was free, and our area was quite economically depressed in the 80s, so “free” was a big draw. They’d pick us up every day in a blue & white school bus with crosses painted on it, and the camp leaders would get us to sing songs all the way there. (“God said to Noah, there’s gonna be a floody-floody!”)

    I loved Bible camp. None of the religious teachings stuck – probably because my totally-not-religious mother carefully deconstructed each day’s lessons when we got home – but man, did I love painting plaster wall hangings with John 3:16 emblazoned on them.

  2. “There’s gonna be a floody-floody?” I did Bible Camp too but never heard that one. It sounds like a classic – I must YouTube.

    Your mention of the World Plowing Championship made me think of a time my sister said she was going to the “Drum and Corps” Championships, and everyone in the group at the time thought she said the “Drunken Whore” Championships. Now that’s the kind of triumph you want bedazzled on a giant belt buckle, oh yeah.

  3. I never went to Bible Camp – why the hell do I know the Noah song? Oh wait – Girl Guides. Whew.

    This explains why that guy I met once used the pickup line “you know, I AM a former World Plowing Champion”.

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