Longing For Long Weekends

Posted on May 23, 2016 under Storytelling with 2 comments


First bonfire of the year

( Previously published )


“Get you motor running, head out on the highway”

Born To Be Wild. Steppenwolf

You start thinking about it when you flip the calendar over on May 1st. When is the Victoria Day weekend?

There is nothing quite as satisfying in life as the prospects for a long weekend, especially the first long weekend in Spring. Especially after a very tough winter. So ,when the forecasters call for warm sunny weather, it is all you can do to concentrate on work, particularly Victoria Day Friday. I haven’t conducted an exhaustive survey but my bet is that the province of Nova Scotia suffers the largest drop in productivity on this Friday than any other single day of the year. Most working stiffs try to build up pious credits ( or vacation days ), so that they can pack up the car and head out with the camper or make way to the shore or lake … at noon, to open the cabin for the first time since the cool fall winds of the previous year blew through.

Anticipation. You can nearly taste it as you assemble your equipment and supplies. You grab bedding, utensils, cleaning supplies and a brew or two and off you go. Whether you are heading east from Halifax or west from Cape Breton, you can expect thousands of other folks just like you traveling the highways and byways. Road rage is at an all time low as you quickly find your “chilling out” gear. If you’re lucky, you can put the roof down. If you’re a biker, there’s no need for that.

Heaven. The open road, sunshine and three blessed days.

You arrive at your place of bliss. You disembark and swat away the first black fly and watch the dandelions grow ( rapidly!) right in front of your eyes. You open the creaky door to the cottage  or enter your camper and discover mouse droppings but far from being offended, you just accept this as nature’s way of saying “ welcome back.”

You do a bit of mandatory housekeeping, unload the groceries and, most importantly, plug in the fridge, praying that it hasn’t given up the ghost over the long winter months. You grab a handful of lawn chairs, crack open a cold one and look out at the expanse before you. If you are at the cottage, your number one priority is gathering the wood for the first bonfire of the year. If you are in a campground, you have either brought your own or paid a king’s ransom for the luxury of not having to scavenge.

It is early evening on day one and you can scarcely control your unbridled enthusiasm. You may have stopped at a lobster pound to pick up your first feed of the year to go along with a barbequed steak or decided to leave that until day two. Sometimes a roasted hot dog is every bit as satisfying.

As the sun sets, you gather round the fire and prepare that rare eastern delicacy: a smore. You are now 100% certain that summer has arrived. Someone grabs a guitar and within the first hour, your neighbors are coming by, when they hear the fourth verse of American Pie.”

The air is filled with the beautiful smell of wood smoke… and laughter, and everything is right with the world.

You stand in awe and wonder as the sun sets over the horizon as it has thousands of times before.  But this one is extra special because it is the first one of the new camping season.

You know it’s getting late when everyone within 100 miles is singing the refrain to Barrett’s Privateer’s with incredible gusto. And then silence descends on the land as the perfect day has drawn to a close. You put your head on the pillow or maybe you lie outside and stare up at the stars. You hear the peepers off in the distance.

And you are one with nature… again.

“And I hope and I pray, we’ll soon make our way, to this old cabin again.”

Oceanside. Sons of Maxwell.


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