Canadians love talking about weather. We talk about it all year long. We love to call our friends in foreign countries to regale them with tales of 40 below winters and snow as high as a third grader. We complain when it's cold, when it's hot, when it's wet - we are never happy with our weather but we sure are proud of it.
Currently, the Pacific North West is going through a heat wave, of tropical standards. It's melting our rain boots and umbrellas. I have to keep dunking the boys into a bath of cold water because my air conditioning decided to break down at a choice time.
It was so freaking hot last weekend that I took off again for the Caribou region to sit in Green Lake. It was amazing there - we just kept jumping in the lake again and again - which made me think of the summer things special to Canadians. So lucky readers, you get another list:
1. That 'summer' smell only available to us Canucks (and possibly some Americans) - the one that only happens in the dead of summer. It's the smell of heat, pine, and soil that sits in the still air and you can usually only smell it when lounging in a lake (or perhaps walking through a forest). I made everyone stop at one point and 'smell summer'. Luckily I have indulgent friends who obliged me and took a whiff.
2. Lake swimming. I have made it abundantly clear that I love to swim in lakes. Oceans are okay, pools are refreshing, but nothing beats a lake warmed by the summer sun and jumping in repeatedly from the dock (by the way - another favorite thing is the feel of the warm wood under my feet).
3. Roadtrips. I love summer drives. The Sea to Sky Highway is up there, as is the stretch from the valley past Hope, the Rockies around Revelstoke and Golden. It could go on and on. It's driving in a car listening to country music turned up, the sun beating down, and the fact your surroundings are lush and green. It's also stopping off at Tim's for double doubles or iced lattes, munching on ketchup chips, and letting that Canadian road wind ahead with the feeling of summer lasting forever. Fruit stands, families in RV's, and roadside stops to the 'Enchanted Forest'.
4. Fruit stands. Buying bags of peaches and nectarines that are so ripe the juices run down your arms (so you have to jump in the lake), cherries that are so fresh they are black, and popping blackberries, raspberries and gooseberries.
5. Lying back with friends and watching for shooting stars. Age hasn't taken away my sense of wonder. I still make wishes on shooting stars - and I don't want to be told they are satellites.
6. Hunting for wild strawberries on the side of the road
7. Sipping beer (this summer is bud light lime)/coffee with baileys/hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows around the fire. I like it best when the boys talk about conspiracy theories and aliens because I get that scared feeling I used to get watching ET.
8. Sunsets. Preferably over a body of water. The best? At Long Beach, BC where I am once again reminded that I live in the most beautiful country in the world.
9. Skinny dipping in a lake (Okanagan Lake is on my mind) under a full moon with a few best friends and then spending the rest of the night sipping wine overlooking the orchards and vineyards of that lovely region.
10. Having amazing friends to share all these things with. Oh, and they may laugh at my cheesy reflections but deep down they love Canadian summers as much as I do
We're a nation that's in the deep freeze for most of the year - we gotta enjoy this season while we can . . .