Summer Afternoons

You may have caught this already, but I totally, completely, and absolutely love summer. Newfoundland summer is short and unpredictable, so basically I endure 46 or more weeks of lousy weather for the sake of 6 or so weeks which will contain scattered days of pure delight. One thing I will say for our summers is that when they are good, they are very, very good. Those of you sweating it out in punishing heat in other climes will be envious to know that a “classic” Newfoundland summer day includes temps in the low 80s, clear blue skies, and a gentle southwest breeze that keeps us from ever getting too hot. OK, so those days are interspersed with days of cold, rain, drizzle and fog, but that’s all the more incentive to get out and enjoy them when they do happen.

That’s why I have an almost fanatical devotion to taking the kids swimming on summer afternoons. I suppose there is a better feeling somewhere than sitting by the pool, letting the sun dry you off after a swim, but I haven’t found it yet. The kids are at the age where they need huge amounts of interaction while we’re actually in the pool — it’s all “Watch me! See me, mom! I’m putting my head under water! Did you see that?! I can swim from here to there…watch me! watch me! Can I dive off your knees? Race me to the edge of the pool!!” When we get out, it’s well worth the price of admission to watch Emma lay out her towel and arrange herself on it for maximum lying-in-the-sun pleasure — the girl obviously has my hedonistic genes and knows how to enjoy herself (yes, we use 45 spf sunscreen if anyone’s concerned. Also, we can’t lay out for more than 5 minutes, because we can’t do ANYTHING in one position for more than 5 minutes).

Yesterday was a classic — as a change from the park pool I took the kids up to Manuels River, a favourite local wading/swimming/splashing area that we’ve only recently started going to. I wanted to have some stunning pics of the kids in the river but those moments, while fun and filled with screaming, were not photogenic, so I’m sharing instead these pics of the very short walk in the woods we took afterwards.

After the river and the woods we went to Berg’s for ice cream — going for ice cream is an occasional coda to our summer afternoons. As we sat on a picnic bench outside Berg’s eating our cones I reflected on one of the deep and meaningful questions of life, and I’m going to share that question with you. It’s going to mean nothing to some of you, but for those who know what I’m talking about, your reply will not only help settle this dilemma once and for all, it will also give me an idea how many other Newfoundlanders are reading this. I know I’m listed on the wonderful NL Blogroll so let’s see if I can flush some compatriots out by posing this tricky question:

Which is better, Berg’s or Moo-Moo’s? Seriously now. As a hardcore townie I have always been a Moo-Moo’s devotee, but sitting out there in CBS yesterday I had to admit that maybe the baypersons have the edge on this one. Berg’s may, just possibly, be the better ice-cream purveyor. What do you think?

Today it’s raining, so not a likely day for swimming and ice cream. Anyway, it’s moving day at work so I have to go put in an appearance as we relocate to the new building. In other news, it’s also my parents’ wedding anniversary. They are celebrating 44 years together and I cannot tell you how blessed and happy I am to be the product of a long and enduring marriage. They gave me the best possible model of what marriage for a lifetime can be — not always easy, not always romantic, but always sharing everything with your best friend. I couldn’t wish for mor myself (and I’ve been married to my best friend for exactly 1/4 as long as my parents have been married). Congratulations and best wishes for many more years, Mom and Dad!

3 Replies to “Summer Afternoons”

  1. I saw your comment on Brenda Coulter’s blog and thought I would stop by and say hello from New Brunswick!

  2. I understand the constant “Watch Me’s” in the pool. It’s mostly Taegan these days who has just graduated to the deep end and can swim down and touch the bottom to it.

    Two more kids to go before I can sit around the pool and have a normal conversation once again…

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