Thursday, June 24, 2010

Childhood Memories of Summer Time

I'm currently taking a break from planning and packing for the beach tomorrow. Some of the moms from my group are taking their kidlets on a field trip to Cobourg Beach and I've wanted to check this beach out ever since I heard them talking it 4 years ago.

For some reason something always came up and I wasn't able to make it. Well I was almost unable to take the boys tomorrow. Luckily, our schedules got shuffled around to accommodate. I'm so excited I actually finally bit the bullet and went shopping for a new bathing suit. Man that wasn't a pleasant trip but with an ankle length cover up I should rock the beach! *snort*

I used to love summer. What kid doesn't? It's just been since my 20's that I've come to dislike the heat and the city during hot spells. The a/c either never worked right or we plainly didn't have any. Having to adhere to rigid office dress codes never made it much fun either.

But this year I'm all on board for summer and anything summer-like. I want to do it all. The beach is one of the treats that I haven't enjoyed since I was a teenager. So, I've pulled out the wagon, cooler and the beach blanket. Sand toys and sunscreen. I bought some provisions at Walmart that I would never have considered (mainly pouches of fruit punch for the boys and bottles of water for me).

When I was a kid nothing was better than the smell of a new beach ball or blow-up rafts. Oh of course, after the smell of new Barbie which was king. The brand new snorkel and facemask/goggles were always a great treat. The excitement of packing up the car and hot footing it down to one of the last open spaces on the sand. Then grabbing my brother and racing to the surf. Bobbing around on the raft or getting my feet tangled up in the weeds that lurked between the sand banks. Sitting on the shore and letting the waves crash around me causing me to sink further and further into the shifting sands.

After getting the teeth chattering in the cold water that never seemed to warm up, splaying out on the towel which had warmed up in the sun and burying my feet into the sand. Ahhhh....gazing up at a cloudless sky or trying to spy land at the end of the horizon that stretched forever across the lake. Whether it was lake Erie, Ontario or Manitoba the beaches were all about the same give or take sand for tiny pebbles.

If we couldn't get to a beach there was always a small pool or sprinkler. Water fights with leaky water pistols that took longer to fill than empty. Getting the jump on my foe with the hose itself. Genius and evil.

Lunches and early dinners always served outside on our wooden picnic table. Cold fried chicken with slaws. Fresh corn on the cob or cold garden salads. Watermelon larger than beach balls or bowls brimming of sweet cherries. My father made the most terrific fresh fruit pies and sometimes we were lucky enough to get that with a wedge of ice-cream.

Do you remember freshie? Ok well you probably knew it better as Kool Aide. My mother was so stingy with the sugar that even the toughest kid got a pucker face from a sip. We didn't drink a lot of that but it was still a treat. My mother always purchased a handful of packets. Orange, pink lemonade, grape, cherry, lime. They made great popsicles too.

Sleeping late, going to bed well after our usual bedtimes. Camping out back with our trusty tent and sleeping bags. Camp fires with marshmallows. Monopoly tournaments on rainy days. Getting caught up in the summer plots of all my favourite soap operas. Then there were the summer time gangs. Kids from the neighbourhood who would adopt into their society the kids that were too young to be in their grade but were old enough to hang out with. These were always good for adventures and getting an earful of the mysteries of being an "adult".

My cousin posted this commercial from the 70's to his facebook profile and I just had to post it here. It was filmed on the Bobalo Boat that used to cruise down the Detroit River taking passengers to Bobalo Island (it was an amusement park way before Wonderland ever came to pass). We made this trip every summer without fail. This commercial reminds me so much of being a kid. It is actually timeless. Enjoy. I'm still humming the song....

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