The value of time

Summer is here, it’s official.

You might not have danced around a bonfire at midnight to celebrate the solstice, but I’m sure you have felt the itch of summer approaching.

You know that feeling of bliss from the sun and the lake, having cool drinks on the patio?

In Canada, we take special pride in enjoying summer, perhaps because of the ferocity of winter and the general reluctance of spring.

I have heard it said that one of the reasons Canadians make great comedians is because of our extreme climate.

You have to admit, with compatriots like Michael J. Fox, Jim Carrey, Dan Akroyd and Howie Mandel the list is impressive. And that doesn’t even count Red Green; you remember, the fellow who loved duct tape so much? That’s Canadian humour, for sure.

We come from a nation where people will spend their first camping trip in winter garb just to say they made the annual May long weekend trek, and where in years like this one, even planting the garden on that same famous weekend could be treacherous in some parts due to frost and wind.

But here we are, at the solstice and all those frostbitten memories are behind us.

In summer, we are happy to complain about the plethora of dandelions and the sudden heat rash we suffered from the first day out mowing or gardening.

Beverage coolers are dusted off, kiddie pools are seen dotting lawns again, and suddenly the sale of potato chips plummets and fresh veggies are popular as we all try to get back to bathing-suit-friendly shape.

Longer days give us a chance to pack more activities into waking hours, and more sunlight means more time outside, often shared with friends.

 It is not just the better temperatures that make for warmer memories from summers past. There seems to be some midsummer fairy magic that makes those times seem some of the best. Or the longer days may simply offer more opportunities for soaking in the good vibes.

I bet you can relate to these moments:

  • the joy of finding the perfect dandelion seed pod. My mom even figured out that larger pods could be preserved whole if you got them carefully inside and sprayed them with a bit of hairspray. How cheered I was to hear this is still special: one of my Guide leader friends told me that her little son likes to blow the seeds willy-nilly to the wind and then hand her the stem as a gift. I also discovered that despite technology they still thwart the average lawn aficionado – our neighbour was seen last Sunday with the vacuum cleaner under his arm, hose in hand as he tackled each stem!
  • I know this will sound corny, but I love the taste of water from the garden hose. It seems just slightly poetic that we have come around to a time when this might be acceptable again, what with the processing and cost of plastic water bottles. Kids might not walk to school (at least not unescorted) but at least when they play in their own yard they can drink the water.
  • the sound of kids playing is a summer sound, one that continues later at night as that lovely sun lingers on the horizon longer this time of year. I always felt decadent to know that I could stay out for so very long  as summer began; going home at dark when summer started could allow you time for a whole other adventure from the one you had before dinner!
  • There is all kind of wonderful and crazy food at any time of year now, but there is still more variety in summer here than in winter. And even if you don’t care about local versus imported ingredients, you must admit that the colours are brighter in the produce section these days. The taste of a garden carrot just rubbed in the grass and eaten fresh out of the ground is one of those experiences that even a five star restaurant cannot match.

I don’t know if you reminisce about childhood memories from long ago or if you have kids you regale with stories, but if you don’t then I think it is about time you gave it a try.

Here are some things you can do here in our part of the world that will give you an old-fashioned taste of summer…

  • Visit the local farmer’s market for veggies that still have dirt on them
  • Take a trip with your sweetie to Enderby to see a drive-in movie at the Starlight. Did you know it has North America’s largest movie screen?
  • Go for old-fashioned hard ice-cream cones with your kids and sit outside eating them, teaching them about how you have to push the top scoop gently down on the cone so it doesn’t fall off
  • Set up your lawn sprinkler and run through it (this is best done screaming – if the neighbours laugh, invite them over to try it!)
  • Pick a dandelion gone to seed, make a wish, and blow.

If you have kids, this will help show them the value of making those warm memories. If you don’t have kids, it will remind you we are never too late to have a happy childhood.

Time always has value, as long as you stop to notice.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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