Soaking Up Summer!
Today I was thinking about summer days as a child. My sister and I were as brown as berries from spending time in the sun. Some of the lifeguards at the lake where we took swimming lessons would slick up their bodies with baby oil to speed the process of tanning and then show off with pride.
We would play in the sand, ignoring any bugs or crawly things and loved to go swimming even when there were big waves or a little algae.
Meals, served ”whenever” usually consisted of large amounts of meat, often charred on a barbecue followed by tons of calorie-laden ice cream and sweets.
Dad made a firepit in the back of our cabin which was marked with a sign in the shape of a pitchfork and labelled Miss B. Haven. As darkness fell, we would light a fire and start singing. Soon neighbours and “new friends” who just happened to hear us and stopped by would all be sharing stories and song choices. This went on for hours and no one ever seemed to notice the time. There was never established bedtime!
As the last red coals were douched with water we would head inside for the required “wood tick check and removal. No bathtub. We just hosed ourselves down or cleaned up at the sink. No bathroom. We had a two-holed outhouse and thought that made us really special.
Sometimes our sleep was interrupted by partiers in the area who were loud and happy. We never cared or thought we should interrupt.
All this was seasonal. So different from being outside at 30 degrees below zero! Or in air conditioning which runs year-round.
We loved the summers of our youth.
But over the years since then we have heard warnings about all the things that had formed those memories.
Cancer specialists tell us not to go outside without the proper level of sunscreen. We hear horror stories about the diseases that insects and animals carry. Water safety experts would likely frown on some of the risks we took.
It seems like every day we are encouraged to eat nutritionally and limit our calories. There seems to be more emphasis on losing weight for health reasons whereas before it was more for appearance’s sake.
We are told to get enough sleep, not party too much and beware of strangers
Well, right now I am lying on a comfortable lounge chair on my patio as I write this. I have a big umbrella that offers shade, a bathing suit that fits (barely), a few pots of pretty red flowers and a nutritious lunch. I know that the soda has aspartame but so what. I even added a chocolate cookie to balance the sandwich off. Could you class that as a two-course meal?
And I have my wonderful memories.
My message for this week is to encourage you to enjoy the beautiful weather. Bugs, water, sand, sun and food are just part of what makes it great.
Perhaps just think “moderation”.
Have a wonderful few weeks of soaking up summer!