May 19, 2012 / 5:00 am
In Canada, we pride ourselves on our climatic toughness. We like to trade stories of the worst winters and compare the endurance we have against those from other cities. Did you know the corner of Portage and Main in Winnipeg is the windiest street corner in the world? The Maritimes gets the tail end of hurricanes, Quebec gets ice storms, the Prairies get everything that blows their way, the Rockies get enough snow for everyone, sometimes in May, and even the BC coast can get horrible dark winter days on end.
This general prevalence of less clement weather (dare I say winter?) makes us fiercely proud of what summer we do get; we make the most of every warm day that comes our way. Canadian tradition says that summer starts unofficially when the May long weekend arrives Of course, here in Okanagan paradise, we are often spoiled before this coming weekend but it still remains a national bugle call to start summer pursuits. And so, I say, get ready, get set…
I have been reminiscing about past summers and what made them special. As a kid, I used to dread the Victoria Day weekend as that was when the garden work went into full force. We dug and planted and moved rocks and generally didn’t do anything that seemed like what one should be doing on the first lazy weekend of summer, at least not if one was a young teenager.
I was always secretly hoping to get an essay assignment on what I did that weekend so I could regale the class with a tale of woe and hard labour. Funnily enough, as an adult I have followed in my Mom’s footsteps, creating my own little world in the grounds at Rabbit Hollow, and so I now look forward to the first sure weekend of garden work.
If you aren’t a garden buff like me, then I imagine the smell of burgers or ribs on the barbecue might be the memory of Victoria Days past. Or perhaps it is the sound of the boat on the water, or the splashing of kids at the beach. Maybe it is the feel of the wind in your hair as you ride with the top down for the first time.
Last night when I heard a familiar silly tune warbling through the trees, I remembered that the first trip the ice cream truck made was usually this weekend. The taste of ice cream eaten outside, off a stick is certainly a taste of summer. That and drinking from the garden hose were things that went with skinned knees, grass stains and sunburn.
I wonder what kids today will have as memories when they grow older and want to look back. We are hoping to get together with friends over the weekend who have children; perhaps we can make them drink out of the hose or plant veggies in the garden. After all, isn’t that what growing up is all about?
Read more Happy Gourmand articles
- A foodie kind of day in the Okanagan May 11
- A day in the life of an Okanagan foodie May 4
- Slow and sweet Apr 27
- Do you have to eat dirt on Earth Day? Apr 20
- Recipes across the miles Apr 13
- Haggis, neeps & tatties Apr 6
- Foolish food Mar 30
- Good food, good friends Mar 23
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