Thursday Tidbits

Posted on July 12, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with 5 comments

The wharf at Bayfield


The rutted, tree lined dirt road leading to the cottage is a harbinger of things to come. It’s as if the road is asking, nay demanding, that the driver of the vehicle and its passengers slow down and decompress from worldly cares.

A day at the beach on a hot summer day. Is there anything quite like it?

I’m traveling with two ten year old girls. They are summer friends. One is from Montreal and the other from Antigonish. They met at a summer camp a few years ago and have become buddies. Summer friends. They’re not like regular friends.

We park at the cottage and change into swimming gear. The somewhat rickety stairway down to the beach has seen better days. It feels like I’ve been having a few brews as the entire structure sways this way and that.

A few weeks ago, an Atlantic storm blew in and encased the first fifteen feet of the beach with seaweed. The girls are wearing sandals but I am barefoot. I normally look for an escape route but decide to walk over the rotting algae. Having never done this before, it’s quite difficult to describe. Try it yourself some time. It’s not unpleasant as it sounds.

The air is hot, the wind is up and the waters of St. George’s Bay are a tad on the cool side. I decide to be brave and get ducked. I do a slow waltz with the rippling water, trying to get acclimatized rather than doing the manly thing and plunging in. I decide that two ten year olds wouldn’t acknowledge machismo. They are too busy looking at jellyfish and crabs.

I finally muster the courage and take the plunge. Every fibre of my being takes notice. I persist and swim for ten minutes. Usually this does the trick and the body’s thermometer regulates the temperature making the water feel warmer. Not on this day. It’s cold and I have goose pimples to show for it.

The girls start digging a hole in the sand and I wander down the beach chatting with neighbours and swatting horse flies. I’m sure the Creator had a purpose for these annoying creatures (the horse flies!) but at the moment, this escapes me.

It is too hot to remain outdoors for any length of time. Mercifully, my sister’s new cottage has air conditioning as we head inside for a cool drink and a snack. The girls make their way to the loft to play some video games and I head out to the deck. My sister is reading a book. I know what it’s like when I’m engrossed in a page turner and someone wanders by and wants to talk. I do the honorable thing and stretch out on a folding beach lounge chair.

I often wonder about the afterlife, Nirvana and perfect bliss. It’s hard to capture in real life but on this day I come close. I am lying in the shade, with a warm breeze wafting over my body. Just enough to keep the mosquitoes and horse flies at bay. I can hear the gentle rolling of the waves and the giggles of youth from the loft above. I close my eyes and start thinking about the coconut cream pie at the Brownstone. And nod off for twenty of the most delicious minutes imaginable. I always thought the letters P.S. meant post script. For seniors it means power snooze.

Before leaving the cottage, we start to make plans for a sleepover which will include a lot of swimming, barbequing hot dogs and making smores at the fire pit, a bonfire, singsongs, and probably very little sleep. Sleepover seems to be a misnomer.

There’s a new ice cream stand at the Bayfield Wharf. One of our goals this summer is to visit every ice cream stand in this neck of the woods. Mallory dishes up scoops of Scotsburn’s finest and we sit on the veranda looking out at the fishing boats in port.

A summer day in the Maritimes. There’s nothing quite like it.


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5 Responses to Thursday Tidbits

  1. Monica Boyd says:

    This one hits the nail dead on!!!! Awesome

  2. Anna Timmons says:

    Sounds like a wonderful day of bliss.

  3. Leon MacLellan says:

    Beautifully written Len. You definitely can get a good mark for creative writing even though its nonfiction. The old English teachers and professors would be proud.

  4. Leon MacLellan says:

    Beautifully written Len. You definitely can get a good mark for creative writing even though its nonfiction. The old English teachers and professors would be proud.

  5. sounds like a perfect day

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