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Remembering the joys of spring and summer

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At the seniors’ residence where I live, many of us are looking forward to spring as eagerly as we used to when we were kids.  

Back then, the only time we could enjoy the pleasures of spring or summer was when it was actually spring or summer. Although we did take plane trips later, they have now become too complicated and we’re too old to cope, so we’re back to where we were.

But it won’t be long now until winter is over. I remember my daughter, at age three or four, hearing on the radio that it was the first day of spring. When she wanted to get her paddling pool out and put on her bathing suit, I tried to tell her March was still too cold, and opened the door so she could stick her head out. She wouldn’t believe me. It must be summer out there in the sunshine. I was only a mother. Surely the radio announcer knew best.  

I let her put on her bathing suit and agreed to get out her paddling pool once she’d tested that patch of sunshine. Stubborn though she was, she quickly came hurrying back in and got dressed in her winter outfit and rubber boots. Then she went out and did what I had done as a kid, and innumerable kids before us. She chopped away at the remaining ice in the gutter and sent little stick boats cascading down the torrent.

Of course this works best if you live at the top of the hill and if there is water, not slush. Where I grew up, near Toronto, there was slush, especially in Toronto, which was right on Lake Ontario where it was humid.  We called it "brown sugar" because that was what it looked like.

You really appreciate summer when you’ve lived with that watery mud for a while. I think there’s a name for Manitoba mud too. Gumbo, maybe? All I recall is that it is sticky and I once lost a rubber boot in it.

However, one thing about spring is certain: it is always followed by summer. Both seasons mean shedding  winter garments and tracking down lightweight ones that let us feel warm breezes around our bare legs, for both men and women often wear shorts here. But the nicest part could be a delightful surprise—a lost address found in an old sweater or, best of all, a $20 bill in last year’s pocket or purse!

You can contact Martha Morgan at mar.mor@shaw.ca.

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