Family: Enjoying summer in my backyard

Treena Mielke

I see from the calendar that summer with all its sun drenched, magical moments that stretch into days that obligingly push away the curtain of darkness for a few lovely hours, is slipping away all too quickly.

The thought saddens me.

There are so many things to do, so many things to see, so many places to go that seem to be reserved for this season, only. And I so admire people that seemed to be able to make all that happen in the blink of time, we call summer.

As for me, I feel like I have accomplished nothing of significance and here we are already half way through July.

Holy cow! How’d that happen?

I scroll through Facebook, which I agree is a total, unnecessary time waster that I, foolishly, allow myself to indulge in.

I see someone has posted a photo of their garden and it looks like a farmers market waiting to happen right in her backyard.

Wow! I think to myself. How did she do that?

My garden is mediocre to say the least. Actually, not only is it mediocre, it is miniature. And as I poke away at the less that perfectly straight rows, I mentally chide myself for the fact the peas are only just starting to blossom and the beets are tiny little scraps of nothing hidden behind the beans and the spinach looks like crap.

Even my flowers, which are a source of pride and joy to me thanks to a little help from my friend, the gardener, are looking like they have had a few too many visits from the scorching sun that has blazed its way into our lives this year with uncomfortable intensity.

That being said, I have to say that even I, in my own humble way, have managed to capture some of the magic of summer without even really trying.

For instance, I have been most blessed to sit on my deck with loved ones and friends that are so close to being loved ones the dividing line is blurry on many a summer night that is so close to perfect it feels like poetry in motion. Nights when the air is soft as silk, talk flows gentle and easy and the sun has finally worn itself out after displaying a blazing hot temper tantrum that lasted until it got settled in the western sky.

I have also been blessed to hear the laughter of children, my own grandsons included, as they played and splashed in the neighbours’ backyard pool.

That thing has been a cool, refreshing piece of heaven for these kids on these blistering hot days.

I’ve also been lucky enough to be in the stands or seated on a lawn chair, or even, a couple of times, in the dugout watching precious grandchildren as they played out the rules of the good old fashioned game of softball. They have won, they have lost, they have made amazing hits that soared far into the outfield infield and they have also struck out. They have made superior catches that make my heart swell with pride and they have also dropped the ball and came off the field with their head hung low.

And through it all, only one thing has remained constant.

The inevitable post game visit to Dairy Queen.

And as I look back, I have to say I am kind of surprised that even though I have hardly left my own backyard, it has been a good summer.

Probably, a great summer!

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

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