Sunday, 2 August 2009
Once more into the beach...
At last, summer has stopped hiding like a naughty child and made an appearance. Huzzah! Sunshine! Warmth! Blue skies! Final-frickin'-ly.
It never quite feels like summer to me until I've baptized myself in the cool waters of lake Huron. And while I'm not really a beach person per se (e.g. I don't enjoy laying on the sand cooking exposed body parts to a vibrant hue of red), I do adore being near the water, especially on that magical weekend every year when the lake turns warm enough to swim in. Sometimes that weekend occurs in July, but most often it's August before anyone other than kids and a few reckless teens venture into the waves. To my delight, this past week of sunshine and humidity coaxed the lake into swimming-friendly temperatures.
I spent all afternoon Friday soaking up the sights and sounds of Bruce Beach with my sis, my good pal and her small daughter and my kissin' cousins from Indiana at my auntie's cottage. My sis and I have been going "up to the cottage" ever since we were kids. It holds a lot of nostalgia for me and has felt like a second home of sorts ever since the day we sold our family home after my mother's death.
My aunt and cousins aren't blood relatives; my auntie was one of my mother's closest friends, but she treats us like one of her own three girls. Coming from a very small family where my only cousins live either in Nova Scotia or Russia, it's wonderful to have a doting auntie so close by. And it's such an added bonus to live two concessions over from them now. We're neighbours all summer long.
While auntie cuddled Jade for the afternoon, we girls giggled, gossiped, swigged lime coolers and Coca Cola. We watched my friend's little daughter get acquainted with sand castles, rocks and waves for the first time, took dips in the water and discreet peeks at the handsome neighbour boy. I decided to pooh-pooh post-pregnancy body woes in favour of my favourite turquoise bikini. It's strangely freeing to wear something revealing despite the triple threat of cellulite, stretch marks and thunder thighs. And man, can I ever fill out that top now. Yay for dumplings!
On Saturday, my friend and I took our daughters down the 6th concession to the public beach. Our umbrella kept blowing away, but we managed to keep our babies shaded and happy. We built more sand castles, picnicked, took pictures of her daughter's sandy goatee, watched a guy wrestle his lemon-yellow boat into submission. I went swimming a few times, and suddenly I felt 10 years old again: watching the water foam up when I kick my feet, snorting nose and mouthfuls by accident, diving under just to listen to the weird watery silence. I even carried lady Jade with me into the water and dipped her teeny tiny toesies in the lake for the first time. It wasn't a screaming success (just a lot of screaming), but hey, my mother did it to me - I have the photos to prove it - so I am just carrying on a hallowed family tradition. As I took my last dip for the day while she snoozed on the shore, I kept thinking how great it's going to be next year when Jady Lady is old enough to frolic with me on the sand and in the surf.
I am a very blessed girl on so many levels. What a great weekend.