Summer fun with sun, sand, sandals!

School is out, and here we go into summer, where it’s about time to be blessed with some hot sun, blue skies

School is out, and here we go into summer, where it’s about time to be blessed with some hot sun, blue skies, and the great opportunity to cast off the woollies and transform our bodies into a delightful shade of bronze. At this glorious time of the seasons when the golf courses are beckoning, the fish are biting, and the family summer holiday flings are planned, we all really do deserve some real nice weather, along with a few refreshing rain showers, preferably at night. Of course as we turn into July we will also be right in the middle of those daily and often unpredictable weather watches and warnings, and if it looks bad it’s always a good idea to tune in the forecast and be prepared to gather up the gang and head for safe cover.

Here are just a few of those neat fun-times that come to mind for all age groups in the great outdoors, and I know for sure that all of you will have lots more planned for your special summer vacation in the sun.

I am sure that everyone, over the course of our active lives, will have some very fond memories of summer camping, whether it is with a church, brownies/guides/cubs/scouts, other groups, or with our very own family. No matter where we may venture, camping out is a unique and exciting chance to ‘rough it’ away from home for a week or two, to meet and mingle with new friends, to hike into what remains of our natural wonders, and to browse in the vast outdoors while getting a break from our rest of the year rules and schedules.

If we aren’t on a summer sports team, it is easy to get our own game going with family and friends. Pick up softball or soccer is great, where you can set your own rules and everyone gets to play. Who doesn’t enjoy a casual match of beach volleyball, which offers a soft landing in the sand, and what can you say about those spectacular uniforms? Tossing the Frisbee is a simple game that can be played by land or sea, and even the dog likes to join in! Bocce has always been one of my favourite leisure games, because it can be played in the back yard, the park, or any location where nature provides a patch of grass or trees. Tennis or badminton also offers some great exercise just about any place you can put up a net around the campground, but then after working up a good sweat, there is nothing better than dashing out into lake and getting wet all over. One can enjoy hours just wandering along the beach, better yet cruising around on all those inflatables, which are the new spin-off of the good old inner-tube from dad’s old truck tire. The newest water toys on which to skim, ski, surf, or suddenly sink include a wide and speedy variety of sea-doos, boards, and all the rest, that you can perform on your own, or hang on for dear life behind a fast boat.

On those real windy or wet days you can snuggle down and read a good book, play some board games, or go fly a kite. There are a wide variety of store-bought kites, you can still grab a buddy and make your own with paper, sticks, and a little glue, but please stay away from the powerlines.

Despite what we may say about the annual adventures of our Alberta snowbirds, or those who enjoy the escape from winter getaways, our summer will always be the best occasion for your choice of some quality R and R, whether it be at the cabin, in a pup-tent, house boat, motor home, or at five star resort. Nowadays, with many thousands on the road, and staying a little closer to home because of the gas prices, it is very important to book your campground or other accommodations well in advance to make sure you have a spot when you get there. Wherever your summer holiday may take you, please plan ahead, be prepared, take a map, don’t forget the bug spray and suntan lotion, and above all have a most wonderful time that you will never forget.

Here are some ramblings of a retired mind.

I was thinking about how I needed a status symbol at my age, something like those cell phones that they snap on their belts. I can’t afford the phone, so I’m wearing my garage door opener. I also made a cover for my hearing aid, and now I have what they call ‘blue teeth’. I went out and spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway.

I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age, and I will call it ‘Pumping Rust’. I’ve gotten what they call the most dreaded ‘furniture disease’. That’s when your chest is falling into your drawers. Get out and enjoy the Ponoka Stampede, and have a great week, all of you!