Commentary – And just think about it, all that fun was free!

Chris Clegg

“It’s not summer if your tongue isn’t purple!” – Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes fame

I agree with Calvin. As a kid, I remember making Kool-Aid freezies by the hundreds during the summer. Our family would make grape Kool-Aid in eight-cup batches and freeze them. We used to suck on them to see whose tongue could get the purplest!

By the way, they tasted great!

Ah, summer! It has arrived this year with a ferociousness never known before. Record heat. People bailing indoors before getting roasted and toasted like a crisp marshmallow.

At least those of us who do not have lake lots!

I even heard the other day a dog ran away from home to sneak down to the lake to cool off. No darn way he was waiting for his master to take him! A doggie has needs, you know!

Oh, thankfully, he did return home!

All kidding aside, was there ever a better time being a kid than summer? After the chores were done, endless time to play. Baseball in the pasture. Soccer on the front lawn. Riding your bike up and down the rural roads. Is there a better feeling than cold dew on the toes after a hot day!

Our family had a tent trailer. My older siblings had quite the sleepovers in that thing. My mother used to rave about how many teenagers came out the next morning. Two, five, eight, nine, 10!

I still don’t know how many actually got breakfast before being sent home, only to return in the evening for another all-nighter! Perhaps they raided the garden. But good times!

Raid the garden! Wow! Fresh peas and spuds, water cress and lettuce. Later, raspberries! Saskatoons all around us on the cutlines between fields. Scrumptious!

How sad pesticides have killed almost every saskatoon bush near the home where I was raised. What a horrible price to pay for progress if you want to call it that!

Even the smells. Sweet clover and alfalfa. The absolutely delicious smell of the air after thunderstorm!

Clear, cold nights after a hot day. We used to like to find satellites. We made a game of it.

The neighbours had horses. We didn’t. Never wanted to ride and never did. My brothers loved their motorcycle. Not for me. Happy with my bicycle. I think my brothers spent more time fixing that pile of junk than riding, but at least they got some good mechanical training in.

And the cousins when they visited. I am sure that motorcycle used more gas than the family car each summer. It used to drive one of the neighbour’s crazy but I’ll leave it at that. Let’s just say that bucket of bolts was rather noisy!

There is no time like summer. The best part was no school! I didn’t hate school. My marks were always good and I had lots of friends.

As a kid, what summer had that other season had was freedom! A few chores, sure, but all the time in the world to play, goof off and sometimes get in a bit of trouble.

No doubt about it! The best time of my life!

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