There is a time each year when you roll your car windows down for the first time. When warmed air can finally compensate from your self-made wind. Mine came on Friday, driving home from work about 5:30. The sun is lower in the sky at that point, and the sunlight glanced off my window and window scratches.
As I neared Commercial and Powell, I longed for the freedom felt when my hair whips around my face, and I turn my stereo down lest someone hears my woefully out of date iPod.
I crossed under the overpass into a flock of migrating dandelion seeds lazily floating to the next unsuspecting lawn. But churned and danced through my car and reflected the light.
May 24th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I don’t care what you say, Summer is upon us.
Today I am thinking about summer. It’s been so sunny – but cool – hints of what is to come. A summer of possibilities and reasons to go places. I’m looking forward to this summer, and the hope to see more, and promises of friends and family to visit.
I’m talking about possibilities a lot, I know. I’m getting into my grove finding my place, feeling better, getting to see the light often.
On the West Coast, Ferries represent freedom, isolation, destined to somewhere special. I love riding one, with the wind whipping at my hair, watching the kids walking against the wind. The seasoned travellers who have a routine. We’re all going some place together.
April 30th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: A ferry to any where is a good day. And I am going places.
It is so much more appropriate to me – being a child with significant amounts of education and a teacher for a parent – that the New Year begins in September. I don’t make a big deal about New Year’s Eve – it just seems to be an excuse for people to get their hopes up that if they dress nicely and pay a $60 premium to their regular bar, somehow the night will feel magical and start the calendar year off right. But it’s September when the when the mind turns from summer BBQs and summer projects to school supplies and the second half of the year. Vacationers return knowing that the last two months have been a delicious deviation from the norm and it is time to start again. The air turns crisper and spending time in front of a computer or textbook seems more palatable. Watermelon makes way for squash. The smell of turning leaves in the air reminds us all that lazy and selfish summer is passing, and the pragmatic and businesslike autumn is here.
And its this September that Emile and I begin anew on the other side of Canada. My side of Canada, I like to say. A summer spent together vacationing, relaxing and playing with possibilities is coming to an end. It’s time to get on with it already. Emile is starting work on September 10th as IT support at a law firm, I’ll be back in Materials at a non-automotive manufacturer. Both beginning again, both nervously excited. Or is that ecstatic terror?
But not just yet. Here in St. Catharines the weekend promises to be hot and sunny. BBQ weather, lying upon the grass and watching the scant clouds go by. One short long weekend together before we leave Ontario and things change.
September 1st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: One last summer weekend.
We have a gang here in Huntsville. There are 6 of us. We have been trying to recruit more members, but our initiation procedures must be too daunting for the invitees. Most beg off. It’s too bad, because once you are in, you’re in. You get our undying loyalty. We’ll never leave you alone. If someone needs to be told off sternly, we’ve got your back. We’ll agree with you when you’re wrong.
Here are the tasks for completion if you want in:
1. You must finish all of the food left on the dinner table so it doesn’t have to be put away. “Finish it Up!”
2. An interpretive dance representing your feelings about The Gang must be performed under a full moon at the side of a bonfire. Props are greatly encouraged. (Full moon is optional if you decide to complete your dance naked).
3. You must eat so much dessert once that you either have to lay on the couch clutching your belly or be taken to the hospital. (you can drive yourself as well, but you must leave a note).
4. A foreign country must be visited with us – you can pick which one.
5. Perform one barter. If you have no skills, then barter other gang members’ skills.
6. A period of six months of unemployment or underemployment must be served. (Your spouse can serve the time for you).
Beware! Punishment may come for arbitrary infractions. You will not know when it is coming – it could when you least expect it that someone will leap up behind you, put you in a choke hold and punch you in side of the head. But not too hard.
It is so worth it.
August 18th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Partying . . . ahem. . . sitting by a bonfire with my gang until the police came “due shots fired according to the neighbours”. Um, wha?! No guns, officer, how would I hold my Bailey’s or bananatini and pull a trigger?
It’s my favorite time – it’s Olympic season. I see Brian Williams every two years and greet him like an old friend. I cheer on the athletes and share their stories with all that I know. I tear up at the commercials, I awake up and watch overnight footage. I become an export in all Olympic sports. I know the Olympians and their stories. And I truly believe that sport, commitment, honourable competition are something we should all strive for.
The Summer Games in particular I admire because there is no expensive equipment needed to get started. If you want to run – run. If you want to swim – swim. Get a ball and play. Dream. Strive. Go.
July 27th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: The beginning of a next part of Olympic history. It’s you and me, Brian. Let the games begin!
It was my friend’s 50th birthday party today. Not her birthday – that is in August – but her surprise party thrown by her husband. He did a great job keeping the secret, but it is a little easier when it’s a month early. Why a month early? Well, because a bunch of friends were already planning to be up wouldn’t be here in August. So, 50 is 50. Celebrate when you want, right?
The party was held in “the shop” – which is a 3 bay garage that by day is used to make paint repairs to cars and boats. That’s funny right? Sounds hokey and kinda like “Really? The shop?”. But it wasn’t. It was fun – it was neat and it it didn’t matter if you spilled your drink. Now this shop isn’t like your mechanics shop with oil and stuff all over the place – it is more like an upscale garage. Complete with decorations, a DJ, and a huge pig roasting BBQ, we were pretty set. It wasn’t white linen napkins – but it shouldn’t have been. It was exactly how you wanted to kick off a long weekend in Muskoka.
That’s the wonderful thing about Muskoka – come as you are. In the summer, you can easily tell the shiny, primped tourists from the wrinkled, comfortable locals. We’re a little smug about it really – laughing at the traffic heading North on Friday evening and again heading South on Sunday night. I suppose they laugh at us idiots trying to make a living in a town increasing dependent on tourism.
June 30th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Drinking Bacardi Pina Colada Coolers in a paint booth. Weird, but perfect.