Family: COVID-19 summer is different with ‘déjà vu’ moments

Another week of summer has passed us by and already the month of August is staring us in the face.

Where did the time go?

For most of us the summer of 2020 has certainly been like no other.

For example, this morning my benevolent neighbour, whom I love because she is cool, kind and funny among other reasons, dropped off some face masks for me.

With the rise in COVID cases, it is more important than ever to be careful, to watch out not only for yourself, but others.

Yes, this summer is different, no doubt about that!

But, for me there have been a few déjà vu moments. Wonderful déjà vu moments.

So, it was long ago, but not so far away, in fact, right here at Sylvan Lake when I first experienced the absolute thrill of waterskiing.

It was one of those perfect July days. A magical day when the air was heavy with the pungent smells of summer, the fields were rich with their golden bounty and the sky was an endless blue barely visible through a lacy green foliage of leaves.

For me, a busy mom with three little kids, it seemed like the perfect day to pick raspberries. So, I gathered up my children, a couple ice cream pails and we set off.

I do not remember exactly how it happened, but somehow, on route to the raspberries, we ended up at the lake where my sister and her family were out on the water in their little blue boat.

We called them the summer people.

You know, the people who came up from the city every year to enjoy the sun, the sand and the lake. They had all the ingredients that make for a great summer, a boat, water skis and the financial means to utilize their toys.

In my mind’s eye, I can see them all now in their little blue boat, their laughter bouncing off the waves.

“Come on,” they yelled to us. “We can fit you all in.”

I remember standing there, balancing my baby girl on my hip, with the other two kids by my side. At that moment it was not only a tiny bit of water that separated us. It was my mind set. I had work to do. I had responsibility. I needed to be productive.

But, somehow in less than a heartbeat, that mind set was trumped by a little impulsive voice that, apparently belonged to me.

“Okay,” I said.

As so it happened that afternoon when the sun shone benevolently on us all, I experienced the absolute thrill of waterskiing.

From that very first time I was hooked. I loved it.

Fast forward to July 2020. It was a picture-perfect day and summer had stamped the trees and the grass and the fields with an amazing kaleidoscope of colour. And the lake, itself, lay like a blue jewel shimmering in the sun.

But, as luck would have it, our toilet was not working and needed to be taken all apart. I sighed and decided it was probably a good time to paint the bathroom.

I grabbed my car keys and was heading to the store to buy some paint when my daughter walked in.

“Hey mom, we need a spotter. Come out in the boat with us. You can water ski if you want. Do you think you can still get up?”

“Can I get up?” I questioned. “Of course, I can.”

Inside, I was not so sure. I was older, heavier and if the truth be known, downright scared. And anyway, did people as old as me waterski? Mentally, I did the math, but still I was not sure.

But, old or not, it seems the trait of impulsiveness has not left me and in less than a heartbeat I found myself in the water, yelling ‘hit it.” to the driver.

And, so as the sun burned its way through another green and blue afternoon, I, once again, experienced the absolute delight of skimming across the lake on skis.

Oh, my goodness, I am so lucky.

Once again, perfect timing saved me from doing work!

Treena Mielke is a central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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