I have so many great memories of things I did as a child in the summertime. I can still put myself into the places, recall the smells, images and sounds as if it was today.
Every summer, I joined kids older than I for morning swimming lessons. Who can forget the feeling of having pool water up her nose? Can you believe we used to open our eyes underwater, too, in the chlorine? The most fun we could have was usually on the last day, when we were to bring clothing that we could wear as we jumped into the pool. We were supposed to be simulating the experience of being in a boat accident or something.
Thank goodness, I've never had to use those particular skills, in spite of the fact that my family has spent the majority of summers at lakes, on boats. When I was very young, my family went to Nickle Lake for what seemed like weeks. In fact, I recall my parents 'commuting' into town for work, just so we could enjoy camping all summer.
My family also spent quite a few summers at a lake further north, called Fishing Lake. If you can believe it, that's where I learned how to fish. It's also where I learned how to water ski, how to flirt (thanks to my older cousin Jill) and how to have fun for weeks on end with no money, electronics, or cares in the world. All we had to be concerned about was tan lines.
We also travelled to BC one summer when I was ten, staying in a tent the entire trip. That was the summer the bears were decapitating campers through their tents and my parents even saw a couple of bears in the woods. Yet when you're already camping without a solid roof overhead, you just have to pray the bears steal your pic-a-nic basket instead of your head.
Most of those early summers were spent in tents and then came campers. The motorhome days didn't happen until I was a teenager. Then, we explored the countryside more. We went into the states, too. Once, a customs officer ripped our motorhome apart looking for I don't know what, because all we had were discounted wares and all were completely legal purchases!
I guess one of the reasons I don't care for travel nowadays is because I did so much of it with my family as a young person. I also did quite a few trips without my parents as a teenager, which was one of the blessings of being part of a youth group! I attended Trossachs Bible Camp for eleven summers, which will forever impact my life.
These days, my family is making new memories at Mainprize Lake, where my parents have had a house for a number of years. So far, I am sure I've actually spent more time there than they would have liked! It's nice for a family to have a home away from home, where they don't have to travel far to camp. It's such a blessing, too, to know we don't have to sleep in a camper or tent. (Have I ever mentioned how much I adore being physically comfortable?)
The lake life is for me. I don't care for tourism: I like campfires and boat rides and hikes. Even though I don't actually like to golf, I know my son enjoys tagging along on the golf course with Grandpa just like I did when I was his age!
Soon, we will be entering the first part of summer, when Weyburnites can look forward to Canada Day parade and the Fair. Growing up, I LOVED the rides, the doughnuts, the perogies, the exhibition of school kids' art, and in later years I loved the social aspect of flirtation and freedom. It was in my mid-20s, however, that I learned that I was no longer able to go on the rides. I'm just so glad my ex-husband was the only person standing under my ride that last time! (That was also the very last time I ever ate bison!)
The fair is fun, even if I can't go on rides. My son loves rides and he takes his dad on the ferris wheel and he plays the games. It seems like a frivolous expense, but I don't have the heart to deprive him. That being said, we're glad it's only three days a year.
Some summer I'd like to hit the road and yes, in an RV, because there are places I actually do want to go. We live in a beautiful land and we are free to travel it, so I'm going to familiarize myself more with Canada before I go too far... even if it means I have to contend with bears from time to time, at least I can keep the customs officers at bay!