Hammertime: Summer fun brings show and shines, and bugs

Enjoying the many different aspects of the Alberta summer months.

Mike Rainone

Hammertime

Whoopi-doodle-dandy! School is out, we managed to survive yet another fabulous Ponoka Stampede, and now it is time to rev up or relax and enjoy all the natural beauty, amenities, action, and family events that are taking place each and every day of a long hot and sunny summer in and around our community, our province, and beyond.

Like all of you out there who really love and look forward to the arrival of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, my wife and I try to do some early planning in order to set up lots of dates for holiday fun with family and friends from June until October. As now mellow seniors, we really enjoy taking long walks down the nature trails, with not too much climbing, no bears, and lots of places to stop and sit along the way. How great it is to get out and catch a glimpse of the proud and protective two and four legged birds and critters with their fuzzy new offspring following close behind, to admire the amazing show-case of colour among the glorious greenery and wild landscape, and to be able to visit and enjoy the lakes and campgrounds full of rambunctious families and individuals out to catch some rays, ride the waves, or hook into a big one.

Whether one is a player or an ardent spectator, there are so many activities for people of all ages to take part in throughout the entire summer, including garage sales, games and tournaments in all sports, outdoor concerts, car and vintage motorcycle shows, rodeos, fairs, water slides and splash parks, and on and on. We are also blessed with many pristine golf courses that cater to ‘swingers’ at all levels of skills, as well as facilities that play host to daily casual get-togethers and events for seniors, families, and those who are not always able to get outside, but would really appreciate some-one taking them out for a drive around the community that they love so much.

In our retirement mode my wife and I have chosen to re-trace our steps back to the great holiday events that we used to enjoy with our children so many years ago, especially through the magnificent Rocky Mountains and to all those friendly family campgrounds where we used to ‘rough it’ under the stars with four kids and a dog in a tiny tent trailer. It isn’t quite as hectic or exciting but all of us can once again wander the bushes and pick some wild berries, discover all sorts of wild life and flowers, maybe take a cool dip in a local lake or steam, play some bocce ball or Frisbee with friends, or just go fly a kite. Whatever the case, whichever activity we all may choose this summer, please play safe, have fun, and always share your joy with others. Among the greatest, most gratifying, relaxing, and absolutely free treats of summer is to be able to sink our feet in the sand with a coffee in our hand first thing in the morning, or to sit around a roaring campfire with family and friends and watch the sun go down after another spectacular day, where we did it ‘our way.’

Now let’s have a little fun

• Sometimes my mind is like my Internet browser…at least 19 open tabs, three of which are frozen, and I have absolutely no idea where the music is coming from. So what should I do, phone my grandchildren? My wife says it’s just a sign of old age or experience overload, but in my case it is usually a dreaded case of senior ‘P & P’, acquired from laptop panic and pushing way too many keys.

• Our minds can be like a garden…where our thoughts are the seeds from which we can choose to grow magnificent flowers, or just sit back and let the weeds take over. At my age I have seen it all and done it all, but I really wish that I could remember it all so that I can do it all over again. There is a skinny man inside all of us that is just begging to get out, but we can usually silence that guy with cookies.

• Eight year olds these days have Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, and iPads. When we were their age we had a colouring book, crayons, and a really good imagination that worked really well after lots of fresh air and exercise.

It’s never too early to start primping and pampering your entry for the Ponoka Agricultural Society Home, Hobby, and Horticulture Show on Aug. 17th and 18th at the Ponoka Legion. Admission is free for spectators and the amazing efforts and projects from our local participants of all ages are a treat to see for everyone. Put on lots of sun-screen, and have a great week, all of you.

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