Summer Cooking

It’s so hot these days that it is difficult to want to cook dinner. Making the kitchen extra hot using the stove or oven is unbearable. Even getting out at the grill is tough. The heat and humidity makes for a challenging cookout.

The other day, my son was grilling over the open flames. Even I didn’t want to hang out by the fire as it was a sweaty evening already. But he did pretty well at his first attempt at open flame cooking. I stayed in the kitchen to make some guacamole stuffed potato skins as a side dish. Those were equally as tasty!

But we needed to eat quickly while it was still hot out. It has become apparent that once it begins to cool off outside- the ‘Skeeters come out. Nothing like getting eaten alive while eating.

Sitting outside is generally pretty nice. We eat on the back deck at least 9 months out of the year. Getting through these excessive hot spells and mosquitoes is the only complaint I have about summer. That, and I hate Sweating.

Bugs Be Gone

This summer is one of the worst for mosquitoes. Every year I complain about them.

I use bug repellent and sprays every night. Because we like to sit outside for dinner, we also use area spray to try and prevent the bugs from bothering us. I don’t overly like the sprays as it affects my asthma. I really don’t have a choice though or I’ll be super itchy.

We have a bug zapper outside the door as well. The occasional ZOT or BZZT sound makes me giggle each time. Does hearing the little bit of death make me a psycho?

We also have a bug catcher in our kitchen. Trying to keep those annoying fruit flies at bay. As well as any other mosquitos that may arrive inside our home.

How do you deal with the bugs this time of year?

Sweat

I hate to sweat. It’s probably why I don’t overexert myself. I also dislike sweating due to the summer heat.

This isn’t the first time I’ve complained about the summer heat. In fact it was almost exactly two years ago that I wrote, Gonna Make You Sweat.

But I really dislike getting sweat stains on my shirts. Especially in the arm pits. That’s probably why I don’t wear light coloured clothes. Or certain fabrics. I find I even get sweaty when I’m driving as well. Seems my body doesn’t like being nervous.

Yes. I hate driving. And I often sweat while doing it. Even short commutes will get me wet (in a bad way). Something about controlling a box made of glass and metal that travels 100x faster than I could run makes me nervous. But only when I think about it while I drive. Which is why I play the radio or talk on the phone while I drive. I need the distraction from my mind.

But I digress. Sweating is yucky. I don’t like it. Not one bit. And getting doubly sweaty because of summer driving makes me upset.

Summer Clean Up

Our kids have already been enjoying over a month away from school. We’ve kept them busy and active for the most part. Or at least tried to. Somehow they always resort back to playing on screens both big and small. Ask them to get off the computer, straight to the iPad. Ask them to put down the iPad, off to the iPhone. Then the PlayStation or the Nintendo Switch. The kids need to be occupied with something.

Today my wife and I are going to keep them occupied with a massive cleaning of our home. Inside and out. Our kids’ responses: GROAN. That was to be expected. But our lovely home has fallen into some disarray. It’s time to get things back on track and try to keep it that way.

Hahahahaha… I know the house will get messy again. Of course no one wants to do chores. But we all love living here. So…

GET TO WORK!

Hopefully the weather stays calm and we can enjoy our first night at the Drive In. You know- reward the kids with the biggest screen of all!

Easter Was Sooooo Last Week…

Our home gets decorated for the seasons and special holidays- Halloween, Christmas and Easter. Today we had our daughter pack up the Easter decorations. The same ones she set out about a month ago…

Since we are family of Atheists, the religious aspect of Easter isn’t represented. Just a bunch of cutesy bunnies and pastel colours. Which to me is more mainstream Easter (just like Santa equates Christmas).

With Easter behind us, it’s time for spring cleaning. Time to rid ourselves of unused and unwanted items. A rebirth of our household. A chance to also bring back to life our garden and yard. Filling bird feeders and getting our pond set up once more. A time to put behind the pastel colours and bring forth the vibrant greenery and rainbow flowers.

Time to get ready for summer weather and sunny days.

Back to Getting Ready for Back to School

Last week we received an email about our daughters’ courses for the upcoming school year. As with every year, there are mistakes that need to be corrected before starting in September. No big deal really. In fact, the school is pretty good about fixing these things. Especially the academic courses.

This morning, my wife is heading out to the school office to make the appropriate changes. Being that our oldest is entering her last two years of high school, we deemed it important to get on the corrections immediately. Crazy to think that even as a teenager, our kids have to start planning for university well in advance.

I’m impressed at the goals our kids are setting for themselves. My wife and I will support them as much as possible throughout these crucial years. Hard to believe that another summer is drawing to an end though.

I’m starting to miss my children being kids already.

Cabin Adventures: Day 4

The smoke from the forest fires has unfortunately settled down over the lake we are at.

Before:

After:

This has made it more difficult to enjoy the outdoors. Even with the warmth of the day, the haze is killer on the eyes and breathing.

We were lucky that our first days on the lake were clear. The kids did a great job playing every where around the site. We noticed the smoke on Wednesday filling the air while out horseback riding.

We figured we’d spend most of the day indoors on Thursday playing games and watching movies. To break it up a bit, we headed out to Bridge Lake Ice Caves for a quick hike.

The caves were more like crevices. Fairly untouched in their beauty. Last year some bridges were built over top of the crevices. We still ventured down to see these caves more in depth. Afterwards we wandered towards a pathway that was still being built.

Then trails were only marked with some tags on the trees labeled “SKID TRAIL“. The kids enjoyed roughing through the woods alongside the lake. It was a bit strenuous going back up the hill to return to our cars. But well worth the adventure.

We headed back to the cabin and watched a couple of old cartoons from mine and my friend’s youth. Both were old cartoons. First was GI Joe The Movie second was Transformers.

Lots of cheesy fun.

We played a few more more rounds of FLUXX afterwards. There were lots of laughs and a ton of fun had by all of us.

And lots of farts.

Ya. Dads and farts go hand in hand. It’s not the best combo when stuck in a cabin. But still humorous all the same.

Not sure which is worse for my breathing- the smoke in the air or the farts. Either way, my inhaler has been used in full force. Hope you enjoy your time off!

Dad Days Of Summer

It was another warm one today. So I took the kids out to our yearly adventure at a watering hole up the road. Check out last year’s post: Life Is On Repeat or the year before: Cooling Off. Without knowing it, every year- almost to the day– I take the kids to Williams Park.

The water was a bit more murky this year than before. It’s because of the clay deposits nearby and underneath. You can see where other kids have played in the clay and made it messier. Not a big deal, as we are planning on washing off after anyways. I think it adds to keeping us cooled off.

This year, my son braved the rope swing and had a blast. We also brought my daughter’s friend and my other daughter made some videos of them jumping in. It was a ton of fun to be had. I also pointed out to the kids that next season of Riverdale was filmed here as well.

We spent about an hour at this side of the park. The water was cool and the area was shaded by the trees. We had the place to ourselves during this time until more people began to show up. Then not as much time on the rope swing was being had, so we dried off and headed for a short hike before returning to the car.

I love this side of the park. It’s usually not busy and each year, the graffiti changes. This year the art made me think of today’s title: “The Dad Days Of Summer“. I have been actively participating with my children this summer a bit more than usual. Mostly because I have a ton of time off in between when I work. If I can make the most of the precious few years I have with them before they grow up that’s my goal.

We leave every activity or location with a smile and a story. I want my children to remember the “Dad Days” and to be able to share these activities with their friends. I had very few growing up with my father, so making memories that last a lifetime mean the world to me (and my children).

My goal this summer is to stay cool and be cool. Joe Cool

Blame It On The Bossa Nova

Today has been a lazy Sunday. I rolled out of bed at noon to eat some pancakes. Afterwards, I put up a hammock in my backyard and proceeded to relax some more.

As I lay there enjoying the breeze and the sound of the birds chirping, I decided that I needed some background music. So I hit up the CBC Music App on my iPhone. I found that instead of my usual classical music, I chose to listen to Bossa Brazil. What a freaking awesome choice.

I closed my eyes and just drifted away for about 45 minutes. My yard had turned into a peaceful getaway where all my worries melted away. The day had gone full tilt lazy.

As I swayed back and forth with my eyes closed- I was reminded of the song, “Blame It On The Bossa Nova“. Except the version from the film “Amazon Women On The Moon” sung by Don No Soul Simmons. I’ve never listened to Brazilian music before, but today made me realize there’s an entire other relaxing world out there that I need to explore. Maybe one day my wife and I can travel further south to enjoy the culture in person.

Today is just peace. My own personal paradise. Absolute perfection. I’m blaming the Bossa Nova for life being grand.

Gonna Make You Sweat

Holy smokes it is hot out these days.

Ya. I’m being that person as well today. Everyone is mentioning the heat. But people forget about the fact that it makes you sweat.

All I can think about is C & C Music Factory on a hot day like today. I just want to yell out- “EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!” But that would mean more sweating.

I look forward to the little breaks in between the sweating. Like the AC in my car or a cold beer in the shade at home. Too bad I can’t have a cold beer in the car while I drive home from a hot day at work. (C’mon Josef- That’s just dumb.)

Ya, better to just chill out on the way home with some air conditioning and some music. Save the beer to have with the nachos!

Cooling Off For Cheap!

Today was the last day of high school for my daughters. So when I picked them up we all went out to grab a cold slushie!

Today was a hot sunny day. Cooling off with a cold syrupy drink seemed like a great idea. Super sweet and a sugar crash to follow. I found a place that has 12 different flavors available, in any size for a buck! And the deal is all summer. I know what we will be doing a couple of times each week:

Summertime is fun time. It seems that my kids are happiest when relaxing with a treat. Freezies and slushies are always a tasty way to cool off.

I remember always walking to the corner store and buying penny candies and slushies all the time when I was a child. Memories of my childhood friends came flooding back today as I sipped on my ice cold syrup rainbow mix of flavors. Every one of them has grown up. Many have kids of their own. I wonder if they have memories of their childhoods that involve me? Maybe.

Stay cool my friends! And yes, I also buy “adult slushies” now.

Driver’s Tan

The sun is out and the heat is now in full force. Driving in my car, I prefer to roll the windows down and drive with the wind blowing in. I think every car I have ever owned has had AC, but I don’t like to use it. Plus, how can everyone else enjoy my loud music if the windows are shut?

I enjoy resting my arm on the edge of the door while the window is down. It’s a casual feel and keeps me calm while I drive. The only problem is that I get a funky one sided tan that is worse than a “Farmer’s Tan“.

The dreaded “Driver’s Tan“.

At the end of my evening commute to work yesterday, I felt like Richard Dreyfuss from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. My arm was warm and the side of my face was beginning to feel it as well. The only way to balance this out is to become a passenger in the car and hope that the sun beats down on the opposite side.

But the sun is great and makes everyone a bit happier. I love that the weather is spectacular these days. For the past 25 years or so, I have survived every summer’s “Driver’s Tan“. I think I’ll survive this years as well.

Your Backyard Friend

I love that the weather is turning nice again. Everyone is outside doing yard work and wanting to share the beauty with their friends. My friends and family all have something different to offer from their homes. I love visiting as well as entertaining people.

Yesterday afternoon we were having a lovely time at a friend’s townhouse. There was a park nearby where we went off to play frisbee and bocce. Lots of sun, great food and good times were had. These friends really enjoy entertaining folks and it shows.

Every Friday night we take our children to “Dry Land Training” with their speed skating coaches. The coaches’ home is on a private lake where we get to watch the sunsets as the kids exercise. It’s a calming sensation to end an otherwise hectic work week.

My sister has a home on the edge of the Georgia Strait looking out towards Texeda Island. It’s a beautiful view in a peaceful part of BC along the Sunshine Coast. If she didn’t live so far away, I’d probably visit more often in the summer months. But those ferry costs are a bit outrageous.

These are just a few examples of the lovely homes I am happy to visit. I also have other friends who enjoy bonfires and barbecues on an almost weekly basis. Spending time with them is always great and brings out some good laughs.

Then there’s our home. We offer shade and privacy on an acre. This time of year and throughout the summer- my family enjoys eating our meals outdoors. We have a covered deck and another deck with a retractable awning. During the summer, we like to have friends over to enjoy the peace and quiet our home has to offer. With classical or calming music playing through our home, it adds to the tranquility we have come to know and love.

Enjoy the weather, and be sure to invite me over for a dinner sometime! I love hanging out with friends.

Cinco

Today is a day of sunshine and drinks. Tomorrow is back to work.

Cheers to friends and fun times for the day! Starting the summer off in a good direction. Anyway, back to being social!

Last Enjoyment Of Summer

This was the last weekend before summer ended. A friend of mine from work texted me late Thursday evening and invited me out to his family’s cabin the next day.  It sounded like a great little escape.


First we drove for a little over three hours.  Then we had to get to the cabin by boat. The lake was calm and the sky was clear. As soon as we arrived, we powered up the solar panel charged batteries.  “More than a Feeling” plays over Mountain Radio


The cabin has been in my coworker’s family since 1969. It has since been through numerous renovations and is decorated in eclectic cabin features. From handmade wooden cabinets to a variety of old couches and chairs. Mismatched blinds and vinyl flooring. Numerous dishes that look like they’ve been scavenged from thrift stores.

All of it beautiful.


We spent the afternoon and evening casually floating around the lake trying to catch fish. I caught a fish. Woohoo! My friend taught me to skin and gut the fish. 


As the evening progressed, we drank beers and a Barrel of Sunshine. With no cellular service to distract us we had great conversations about life and family. One night away was the perfect way to enjoy the last weekend of summer.

Hooray For Rain

Finally, it’s beginning to rain in the Vancouver area.  This is much needed since it’s been so dry over the past couple of months.  Too many fires surrounding us that we have had smoke advisories numerous times. I for one am really happy that the rain is here.


I’m happy because I will soon hopefully not need to use my inhaler 4-5 times a day.  I’m also happy because my yard has needed a good healthy watering.  The trees, bushes and even my lawn (ok, it’s moss) have suffered far too long.  Over the course of only a few hours everything is rejuvenating and becoming vibrant again. I can see our plants bouncing back already from the brink of dehydration.

The rain has been welcomed by almost everyone I know.  The Fraser Valley has needed this. We need this. But as the days go on, I’m sure the rain will start to make us each a bit more dreary- just like the autumn weather. 


So find a loved one, grab a sweater or blanket, enjoy a warm cup of tea and let the summer come to an end.

Don’t Rush The End of Summer

I know that it’s that time of year for parents and children.  Back to school! It’s a great time and all, but I don’t want to be in such a hurry to get through this year.  Summer is still in effect- even if only for a few days officially. 


Autumn will kick in, with it comes Thanksgiving and Halloween.  Then it’s winter with Christmas vacation and New Year’s. Spring hits us pretty quick as the kids get more time off before finishing out the school year. Only to start Summer all over again.

Each day will pass us by quickly as we plan for the next one.  My wife was surprised that I didn’t want to do much but chill out during my last vacation at the end of August.  The biggest thing for me was to experience a change of environment in order to relax. I couldn’t have done it had we been at home the entire time.  Some new projects or workload would’ve been added as the days went on. I wouldn’t have been able to just chill out.


I have come to realize that not every moment needs a purpose.  Not every minute needs to be filled up with activities. Even as the kids begin another year at school, I hope they find a few moments of nothingness to enjoy in amongst the hectic schedule that we have all become accustomed to.

I don’t really want summer to end- but it has to. At least more memories to be made over the year are still to come. Let’s just try and savor them a bit more.

Life is on Repeat…

Funny how life hits you in the strangest of ways. So far this summer I have cancelled plans at the last minute for no better reason than, "Just Because". It kind of bothers me. A couple days ago it was going for a hike to Inch Creek. Last night was the Drive-In movie. A few weeks ago it was cancelling going to the swimming hole up the road.


So today I chose to make a splash… I mean- make it up to the family. We went to the swimming hole for an hour or so to cool down. We got back home and I was about to sit down and write about it, when I remembered that I had done that before. Cooling Off was written one year ago.

So it's odd that life is on repeat. Because two years prior we did the same thing. Every year we went once. As much as it was a nice treat, chances are we won't be going there again this summer.


Now it's time for another evening on the lake as the kids do dryland training for speed skating.

So far the summer is on repeat: Work, nap, lake, beers… not that I'm complaining. I need to get the kids to the Drive-In movies this summer before it's too late. I also need to get some camping and get a few hikes in.

Life could be a lot tougher. But life is pretty freaking swell, even if it is on repeat.

Bad Min Ton

My wife is very competitive at everything she plays. From video games to table top games- she has a mean streak. I hate playing Dr. Luigi against her. Badminton is no different.

When we first moved into this home we set up a badminton court in our backyard during the summer. It has moved locations a couple times, and we even set up temporary flood lights to play into the evening hours. Whenever we had friends over, my wife would try and make it sound like they were going to have a friendly match. Little did they know that she was ruthless. That's probably part of the reason we don't entertain as much as we once did.

A few years ago, we tore out our old deck. I moved it directly onto where our court should have been. We did not play badminton for about three years. Life was wonderful. Until this year. My wife convinced me and some of my friends to move the deck and use it as a Parkour wall to get onto the tree deck. She took advantage of my newfound enjoyment of Parkour and soon after the deck was moved, the badminton net was erected.

My joyful summers have come to an end. My wife has begun playing two to three times a day against our children. I only play her to spare their lives. I am afraid that if we invite anyone over for a BBQ, they will be subjected to a clear and utter badminton dominance from my wife. Ridicule 100% guaranteed as well.


You have been forewarned. Be careful of my wife. She is as vindictive as The Eradicator from "Kids in the Hall". Let the carnage begin!

Summertime!

June is almost over and if you are like me and have kids- they are super excited right about now.  This has caused a lack of thinking and functionality from our three beasts. The weather is nicer and the act of being stuck in a classroom is overwhelming. Getting home and the idea of chores or homework is forgotten.  Soon my children.  Soon it will all be over.  Summer is officially here.

And with summer comes the great scare. What do we do with kids at home for ten weeks??? 


Every one of my days off is slowly getting accounted for.  All my freedom is becoming locked down into day trips, nature walks and BBQ dinners with friends.  Long evenings sipping cold drinks are upon us.  Letting the kids run around the yard until the sun goes down for the day. I have realized that my summer can be broken down into four basic hang outs.

1. My family: beaches, rivers, road trips, long walks, drive in movies.

2. My wife: relaxing in the yard, watching tv, just being besties.

3. My friends: laughs, drinks, more laughs, discovering new beers, laughing some more.

4. My work: having the ability to work both indoors or outdoors on a regular basis is a great benefit when the weather is beautiful.


I am excited about the many adventures that we shall go on this summer.  I hope to share them all here in my blog.  I wish we could do more. If only work would stop getting in the way.

Two weeks…


Crap.  Where is summer going?  We are in the last two weeks of summer vacation for the kids.  Seven weeks have already passed and it feels like we need to squeeze in more activities to end 2016 on a high note.


The start of summer was laid out before us with ideas and plans being made.  Some things we did, others were put by the wayside.  A last minute camping trip made it in last week- much to the joy of my children (and my wife was pleasantly surprised that she liked it as well).  But what to do with these fleeting days before the hustle and bustle of the new year (admit it, you feel like the year begins in September, not January just like I do) takes over our lives?

I’ve complied a list for myself- because I love lists and crossing things off.

  1. Read a book or two.
  2. Hit the beach early in the day.
  3. Take walks with just my wife.
  4. Enjoy some casual last minute meals with friends.
  5. See my family.
  6. Enjoy a nature hike.
  7. Take more photos.
  8. See more of British Columbia.

My list seems doable.  I should be able to accomplish my goals in a fairly stress-free way as well.  Here’s how I plan on meeting my goals:

  1. I love reading, so not watching Netflix before bed is how I will accomplish this.
  2. Just waking up and getting out the door before the crowds hit the beach.  Perhaps calling it a day by lunch will ensure this to happen.
  3. This is a no-brainer.  No excuses here.
  4. “Whatcha doin’?  Let’s meet up.” Done.
  5. I don’t see my mother or sister on a regular basis since they moved away.  Perhaps taking the initiative to do so and putting our differences behind us will help in achieving this more often.
  6. I have the shoes, I just need a little push.
  7. My iPhone is more than just Facebook and Pokemon Go.  I should take more pictures of life to remember the good times.
  8. This Province of ours is amazing.  Forests, mountains, lakes, beaches, people…  Getting up early and hitting the roads will help out.  Some money for gas and a map is all I need.

I also love hearing about places and events going on around us.  If you have anything to share, please let me know.  Or if you want to meet up, shoot me a message.  These are the last few days of sunshine before autumn enters and the busy life kicks in.

Summer is leaving


I can’t believe that summer is already starting it’s stretch on the way out.  You see it in the papers and on tv- Back to school advertising is weaseling in.  Some stores are showcasing Halloween or even *gasp* Christmas merchandise.  Summer Blow Out Sales are everywhere.  But that isn’t proof that summer is over.


Nature is telling me that summer is ending soon.  The color of the tree leaves in my yard are changing.  I’m seeing less green when I look on the branches.  The daylight is ending earlier and starting later.  Sometimes there is no daylight at all as a storm passes through.  There are fewer bunnies, squirrels, & birds hanging out in my yard.  They’re all growing up and moving out.  

What’s this?


This means it’s time to make one last push to enjoy what is left of our summer. Time to hit the lakes, hike the trails, and sip on the cold beverages!  Soon it will be autumn.  Usually we head to Southern California in the fall to extended our summer feels.  But this year we began our summer early by heading down in spring. 

This will be our first Halloween at home in a few years.  We shall experience the slow draw of fall- bringing with it crisp nights, warm blankets and comfort.  I love the fall.  In fact I love all of the months and seasons for a variety of reasons.

But summer can’t end yet.  There’s still so much more to do.  More drive-in movies.  More beach days.  More quality time with family and friends.  There’s just so much more left of summer.  Time to keep on enjoying it.

Indoor Summer

With summer approaching halfway over, my children keep pestering me to go out and do things.  As much as I may think of them as pestering me, it’s really nice that they want to be outside and doing things. When I was a child, going outside felt more like punishment.

Do you know how hard it is to find old logos?


Back in 1983 we had cable tv and a pay movie service called “Superchannel”.  Other kids around had “1st Choice” which was another movie channel.  The two combined in 1984 to become “1st Choice Superchannel”, but that’s not really important here…  When we first got cable tv, it seemed like it was never turned off.  I ate meals in front of it, played with my toys in front of it, I even used to stare at it until my eyes focused on the individual lines on the color tube.  That summer was spent watching a lot of movies.  Many not so appropriate for children.  If I wasn’t watching in my home, I’d head over to a friend’s home and watch.  I saw many films that made me question the world around me or films that scared me so badly that I had to sleep with a light on for many years.

A cult musicals of the 80’s.


However, one film in particular has had a special spot in my youth.  It brought me great joy and a love of musicals.  No, it wasn’t “Annie”, although that was pretty good.  It was “The Pirate Movie”.  It was cheesy, campy and full of fun.  I spent a few hot summer days watching this film.  Superchannel would send out a TV guide of when their movies were on- and I marked every time that “The Pirate Movie” was playing.  But when it would end, the tv never got shut off.  I saw films like “Young Doctors in Love”, “Pink Floyd: The Wall”, & “Alien” that probably shouldn’t have been viewed by a seven year old.  Many more films entered my living room that summer, many more age appropriate mind you, but it kept me indoors most of the time.  This became a regular occurrence for many years to come.  I rarely ventured outside.  I’m not saying I didn’t, but rarely seems about right.

SNES


Then in August of 1991, Super Nintendo entered my life.  This wasn’t my first video game system.  But something about it had me spending more time than ever playing on it that summer.  I played Super Mario World and found every level.  That summer was spent in my bedroom playing video games nonstop.  It was awesome.  I have fond memories of my tv and me together.

My children are pretty much growing up with the opposite of my childhood.  They are constantly outside playing, walking around parks, & generally experiencing life outside of our home.  Oftentimes it’s me that tells them to stay inside and watch a movie with me or play MarioKart.  Because that was how I enjoyed my summers as a child.  Honestly, they are having a healthy balance of inside and outside time this summer.  Our theater room has been used less this summer than in the past.  I don’t see my children ever becoming tech-zombies because they are so full of life and enjoy hanging out with other people.

My life has become a better place having my wife and children in it.  They are opening my eyes to a world that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.  Sometimes I feel the need to show them my childhood memories, so I’ll put on an old film from the 80’s and we’ll sit back and enjoy it, no matter how cheesy it may be.  My kids usually love it.  

It’s my wife who questions my taste and why I like certain films.  So I’m off to try and find “The Pirate Movie” now in order to share its beautiful campiness with them.

Air Conditioning

My home is nice and cool most of the time.  The trees shade it nicely throughout the summer months.  It also helps that this is a brick house as well.  We own one fan and have no need for AC.


I often forget that the rest of the world around us is in a heatwave.  I often leave my home in jeans and a hoodie, instantly regretting it as I turn the corner.  That’s when the AC comes on in the car.  Doing my errands, I rush out of my icebox on wheels and dart into my destination hoping for more artificial mountain breezes.  Suddenly my hoodie and jeans are a good idea since “Arctic Tundra” seems to be the level of cold required at Walmart.

I am relatively comfortable as I shop… Until I leave and the wall of heat smashes into me like a flamethrower.  I rush to my car only to realize as I sit down and burn myself on the seatbelt buckle, that my vehicle has now become a sauna. Whatever chill I had going on prior to my shopping is gone.  Instant sweat rolls out my pits.  My windows get rolled down and visible heat waves emanate out.  Some are even off my body.  

Gross.  Sticky.  Sweaty.  Uncomfortable.


I just want to get home again and relax under the trees.  I have to avoid the very back of my yard since it gets direct sun and has turned into Death Valley for most of the day.  The summer makes me become a homebody.  Fearing the scorched earth, I rest easy on my cool leather couch.  Peacefully wasting my day away, not wanting to venture back outside.

Cooling off


Last year I took my children to a local water hole to cool off from the summer heat.  It was a place that was shared with me about twenty years ago.  When I posted photos of us last year, some of my old friends got all excited and were like: “I remember that place!”


After sharing about the rope swing and the shady pool of water, more of my friends asked where it was so that they too could go with their children.  There’s no greater feeling of joy than sharing a little piece of paradise with friends.  Later, I saw photos of my friends and their children enjoying a cool dip on a hot summer day.  Today I brought another friend there to share an afternoon of doing nothing, but having fun.  Even our dog cooled off from the summer heat.

The water isn’t chlorinated.  There is no payment required to enter.  There’s no fancy waterslide or waves.  Not everything in life costs money.  Today was all about just enjoying life.  Taking the time to experience nature and put down our devices can be very fulfilling.  My children even made some friends for the day and splashed around having a great time. 

Sure my phone came out to grab a few pictures, but hey, that’s what being a parent is all about.  I need to get some embarrassing shots for future use as well…

I love finding out about new places to explore locally.  A big thanks to all my friends over the years for sharing these places.  My children and I look forward to going around to these locations every time.  

Enjoy your summer!  And remember to stay cool!