Simple summer pleasures

I really like summer. The other seasons have more unpredictable weather, so you need to plan your clothing. Safety can be a consideration, what with storms and snow and ice. The days are shorter, so time management is tougher. Not to mention the expectation is that we must be more productive. In hot weather, it’s acceptable to have a siesta or at least a drink on the patio.

It’s so much easier to enjoy oneself in summer, don’t you think? Now that our heat wave is over, we can get on with enjoying more regular summer weather.

I thought I’d line up a summer bucket list, to make sure that I capture my favourite moments of the season. Feel free to steal from this list if any of these ideas strike your fancy. I’m going to keep it short this week – it’s about the action, the experience – not explaining it.

Eating watermelon from a balcony – Watermelon seeds have been found in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Talk about a classic hot weather food. It could be called the quintessential taste of summer.

The duplex in which I grew up had a narrow balcony at the front of the house. The house overlooked a busy road and there was barely enough room for a chair, so pretty much the only activity worth doing there was eating fresh watermelon slices. You could spit the seeds over the railing, and even compete to see who could spit the farthest. In our current house, we have a front and a back deck so I’m thinking I’ll try both and see which one inspires me more.

I wonder, did the Pharaohs try spitting seeds from the pyramids?

Catching the Ice Cream Man – (You’re thinking, does she ever want to do anything that’s new to this century? It’s a consequence of getting older, the desire for nostalgia, so indulge me for a few more points.) Once you hear that silly music, you know for the rest of your life it means the Ice Cream Man is coming down the road in his truck. I used to love Fudgsicles, but I don’t remember the last time I saw one.

If I can’t find an ice cream truck to chase, perhaps I’ll try the little freezer by the cash in a gas station. Maybe that’s where the Fudgsicles are hiding. That seems a much better memory than wandering the aisles of Walmart.

Floating on the lake – Here is an activity I never tried as a kid. Our summer holidays were on the coast if they were near the water, and as you may know floating with a tide is precarious at best. When one lives in the Okanagan though, one needs to learn to enjoy the lake. For me, that is about taking my dog for a swim or floating. (The two activities don’t go together, as Labrador Retrievers don’t understand the concept of relaxing in the water. Freyja is only good at capsizing people who are floating, usually in a very wet burst of enthusiastic glory.)

This is an activity that could be family-oriented (then the energy is similar to having a Lab around). Or it could be adult-oriented, with the peaceful bliss that is akin to a spa visit. Your choice.

Of course, you can go wine or beer tasting in the Okanagan. Check out Alison Markin’s Okanagan Taste column for tasting tips.

You can get out on the boat or paddle board or kayak if that’s your thing. Rentals are available if you want to give them a try, and lessons too. I enjoy an early morning out on the lake on my paddle board, soaking in the scenery as I coast along the water.

There is no lack of golf courses here, and there are tennis and pickleball courts too. But this week I was thinking more of the hedonistic pleasures where the only goal is just the thing itself – no score, no competition with anyone else, no reward but the enjoyment itself. (My Labrador is my inspiration here too; she is always working on the Zen of living in the moment.)

So, get out there and soak in the fun. If you come up with any wonderful moments, I’d love to hear about them if you’re willing to share, send me an email or share on my Facebook page. And if you’re walking near a balcony, watch out for watermelon seeds.

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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