Family: Summer days are drawing to a close

Summer is running away on sure-footed feet and it seems to be heading straight towards fall.

And even though I know in my head ‘for everything there is a season,’ it seems like the season of summer has slipped by much too quickly.

Weather wise, the last couple of months have been nothing short of crappy.

It seemed like Mother Nature hid her blue and gold crayons for a good part of it, instead coloring our world with white and black and grey.

Very rude!

But, as people say, often before they settle into complain about the weather, “no use complaining, there’s nothing we can do about it. It is what it is.”

I have tried hard to rise above the nasty weather and not resort to whining.

But of course, on more than one occasion, I have failed.

But, still, it doesn’t matter if the weather is sketchy and not entirely to our liking, summer is fun.

Even as I write this, I think of yesterday.

Yesterday was good. True, it was cold and windy, but still there were those moments. You know, those moments that are better than hotdogs, burned off the grill, warmer than sunshine and sweeter than the best and most delicious birthday cake.

We, okay, actually me, decided to have a family get-together on the beach, a picnic, in fact.

I decided to do this, partially because many years ago this blonde, curly head child was born on a rainy Sunday in August.

And that child is about to celebrate another birthday.

She was born in the same hospital as her mother (that would be me). That small, rural hospital no longer exists thanks to the crash and burn tactics of the Klein government.

But it was there when my daughter was born and, for that, I’m most grateful!

I also decided we should have the summer get-together because three of the members of our family are moving away, and though I am very sad about that, I’m trying hard to be grown up about the whole thing.

I texted all three of my adult children as a group.

“We should get together,” I said.

They all responded quickly in the affirmative and after I almost dropped my phone from shock I allowed myself to be happy because my plan might actually work.

And so the get-together proceeded pretty much on schedule.

Of course, we were all late which is a kind of unspoken rule in our family.

But, it didn’t matter. We ate burned hotdogs and crispy fried chicken and tried unsuccessful to light the candles on the beautiful birthday cake my daughter had made for herself.

And she pretended to blow them out as I took pictures.

The afternoon proceeded and I watched and smiled a lot as the adults and cousins talked and laughed together and everyone tried to hit a target with a new slingshot one of the grandchildren had received for his birthday .

Finally, the youngest family member tugged at my hand and said “grandma, let’s go to the beach. I want to dig up some sand”

And so we did.

In my mind’s eye I can see him still, a tiny, tousled haired child holding a shovel and a sand-pail, silhouetted against the choppy waves.

And without warning I have a flashback of a picture given to me more than decade ago. Another child, another lake. The child in that picture has blonde pigtails, and her tiny blue dress is fluttering in the breeze.

At the bottom of the picture is a quote by Mother Theresa, ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

The child in that picture is now over by the fire regaling the adults with her stories. She is about to enter her last year of high school.

“How did that happen?” I muse to myself.

And so we eventually pack up and go home and so ends another day in summer.

And once again I am reminded that memories tinged with more than a hint of joy are not weather dependent.

And it is good!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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