The Unrelenting Echoes of Summer

The ‘hood battles are raging and the summer days are stretching onwards and upwards. No one is immune to the reaching fingertips of ire and impatience emanating from cranky neighbours who refuse to admit their age is getting the better of them. If one is to listen to them, the kids are running amok flailing wildly among heathens and hoodlums destined to dethrone the king of badness. Nothing good happens past nine- thirty peeps, and children left to pillage and plunder the village into the abyss of indifference and permissive dismissal are future adults destined for the Presidency of an American nation. Alas how are we to survive the madness?!Calm down, peeps.

The children are children playing in the backyards of responsible professional adults paying their taxes, abiding the laws of society and contributing to the well-being of community and ‘hood alike.

There is no crime here, only that of youth being restless and young on summer nights that have magically become windless and warm. The days where summer seems to last forever, where any kid of any age can dream of digging for buried treasure, swim in the depths of a backyard pool and savour the taste of s’mores and burnt marshmallows on a backyard campfire. Tents, giggles, sleeping bags, practical jokes, stolen garden gnomes (oh, my poor Norman where art thou?) all a big part of childhood and growing up in a safe environment surrounded by loving parents and committed neighbours to raising a generation of well-adjusted, educated, intelligent, compassionate and community minded young people.

That’s what my idea of a neighbourhood is.

Watching out for each other against the rallies of the occasional late-night thievery, lost dogs, wayward cats, and kids out past the boundaries of the park at the end of the street. Local spring clean-ups, bottle drives for hockey trips, Mummering Christmases, barbeques and the fence raising- shed building- deck erecting- construction that brings friends and neighbours together.

We connect to support each other in times of confusion and debt reduction, lost jobs, raised taxes, sky-high grocery bills and illness and heart attacks and even the death of someone’s parent or relative. It’s what they mean when a neighbourhood becomes a small village.

We become each other’s indirect relative.

A communal leaning post.

Friends. Allies. Fellow compatriots in a world where we embrace differences and stand up for the underdog. Where we denounce bullies, raise up kindness and understanding and assist at all costs.

It’s in the DNA of every Newfoundlander to have this innate sense of community; to feel responsible for each other because, hey, don’t I know yer father? At least, that’s what I was led to believe.

Let’s see more of that. Community. Fellowship. Understanding.

AND FUN.

Hey kids! Your loudness behooves me!

The kids running around playing spotlight after dark, the fires in the backyard pits, the barbeques, the late night dog walking, the chatting…

There is no room for fear of being loud or obnoxious. The sounds of laughter and squealing from children should be a sign of a healthy happy environment fraught with joy and the unending bounds of childhood activity.

It should be lauded as the epitome of strength of home and family; not sullied as unnecessary and appalling.

As the summer progresses, let the children play in the streets and wreak havoc in the backyards. Soon enough they will be grown and gone and our yards will echo with their lost squeals of fun-fueled delight from summers past. Youth is fleeting.

Let’s not wish it away.

 What?! I can’t hear you! Whispering sucks. 

 

 

Summer Days Can Be Noisy. Bring Your Headphones. And Gas Ovens. 

The summer is spinning on and I’m trying desperately to hang on without randomly sticking my in the oven…It just occurred to me that even that wouldn’t be effective, as I have an electric oven. I guess when you see the old lady-with-her-head-in-the-oven gag, she actually owns a gas operated appliance, which obviously would do one in. An electric one would only be harmful if it was simultaneously touching water…or plugged in whilst out in the rain. But then, why would you have an oven OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN. No one would need to bake a cake outside during a monsoon. Unless you wanted to have a baked goods sale on the side of the road instead of the usual lemonade stand and having the oven outside is both convenient and a sales pitch, and people would be too excited and cause mass riots in the ‘hood since, BAKED GOODS.    Then some people would think y0u are trying to sell the oven instead of the baked goods, which would cause more discussion and chaos.

No oven outside is what I’m saying. Totally useless and makes too much noise in the ‘hood which apparently, is an issue what with all of the children home from school because ITS SUMMER HOLIDAYS AND THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SUMMER.

And no need to stick one’s head inside it, since it would also be pointless. And kinda creepy looking. Unless, cleaning. Ugh.    

What was I saying?

Right. Summer.  

It’s happening and really I just want to sit outside in the sun. It’s the best.  

Unfortunately, there are people in the universe who are not happy well-adjusted human beings who, for some unknown reason, decide that living in a neighbourhood full of children and families is a great idea until the children decide to, God forbid, laugh and play then it’s all STOP THOSE CHILDREN FROM HAVING FUN I’M TRYING TO BE QUIET HERE! And we’re all like YOU LIVE IN A NEIGHBOURHOOD WITH FAMILIES. And they’re all WELL THAT’S NOT MY FAULT. GET THOSE CHILDREN TO BE QUIET. JEOPARDY IS ON AND I CAN’T HEAR ALEX’S QUESTION! And I’m all like IT’S ACUTALLY THE ANSWER, YOU NEED TO COME UP WITH THE QUESTION GAWD DO YOU NOT WATCH JEOPARDY ON A REGULAR BASIS?! And they’re like NO BECAUSE I CAN’T FREAKIN’ HEAR IT WITH ALL THE FRIVOLITY AND FUN GOING ON!  

Hence, the oven.

Maybe I will have a baked goods sale with ovens and children and lemonade stands and garage sales and carnivals in the streets. Mags can be outside and bark at all the joyous crowds gathering then we could have firetrucks and police cars sounding their sirens and in the evening have fireworks and a bonfire and…

DID SOMEBODY SAY BLOCKPARTY??!!  

 THIS LOOKS AWESOME.  AND SCARY.  HANG ON KID! But don’t scream. That’s way too much noise.  

OH MY GAWD THE LEAVES ARE FALLING AND BLOWING AROUND AND I HAVE TO GET THEM!!

Last night, I walked out of my house and spied a little girl, her father and her younger sister walking down the sidewalk with fallen leaves bunched up in eldest girl’s fists. It was obvious they were out for a pleasant walk to collect some fall leaves, although I’m not entirely convinced it was ‘pleasant’. The little girl had leaves bunched up by their stems in her hands and every so often, a gust of wind would blow the leaves, tugging one or a few free. They would take flight, which would then send the little girl into fits of frightful screams.  The father would patiently wait for her to run after the airborne leaf and rescue it, trapping it back into her already full hands.  She would just manage to secure the escapee as another wind would blow yet another leaf astray, and more screaming would ensue.

After several minutes of this game and halfway down the street, the father becomes impatient with the screaming and the running after blowing leaves. He grabs up the entire collected bunch from the little girls fists and pushes them forcefully into his pants pockets.  He grabs her little hand and begins to drag her down the street, still screaming.  He gives up a little further down the road, and releases the girl’s hand admonishing her to stop screaming.  The little girl’s sister looks at the now quieted girl, points to the street where a scatter of fallen leaves have become loose from the nearby maple trees and calmly says “you missed one.”  I giggle as fits of further screaming can be heard.

I love fall….

The Warm Winds of September

The warm winds of September were both well-received and confusing. This was July weather, not fall weather, although who’s complaining? Those fall days were sunny and warm, the bees were buzzing and the flowers were caught between blooming and dying off. The leaves were hesitant in changing colour since nature was telling them to remain their lush green. They were caught in a war of wills between seasonal tradition and environmental interference. The plan changed. The climate changed. July was freezing and cold; drizzly and foggy. While the rest of the world was baking in record high temperatures, we were snuggled down in our fleece jammies ramping up the heat and having bonfires to keep warm. Then August happened; August, with its sunny days and thank-the-Lord warmth. The sun shone, the kids ran amok in the street shouting SUMMER IS HERE! SUMMER IS HERE! And so it was. The flowers came out to say ‘hey’ and the grass grew…so did the weeds, but it’s all relative. We could sit out on a patio without shivering or looking for our hotpaws; barbeques were lit, cold beer was drank and we were able to emerge from hibernation, free from parkas, gloves even sweaters and see the light of day; we watched the sun fade at nine in the evening instead of five in the afternoon. We began to feel what the remainder of the world was feeling and we were damned happy about it.

Heat! Loves it.
Ahh, summer. September extended our August summer into fall, bringing warmth and sun and bright days. Our evenings are shorter, our days begin later but the warmth of September was giving us a well-deserved reprieve from our usual instantaneous transition from hot one day to downright cold the next. Thanks, September and the weather gods for giving us a break….Snow will fall soon enough, but until then, I will relish the lazy ease into cooler temperatures.
Now October, don’t go messing it up…take it easy on us. We need it…

fall leaves

Fall With a Side of Jesus Toast

Fall seems to have arrived with a little trepidation around these parts. After a ghastly August by all accounts…we were away during August, but the reports were not good…September has been kinda-okay. And I say that while inhaling slowly and crossing my fingers that the rain that is currently beating down the windows will only last for today and give way to sunny skies and mild temps once again. That has been the norm this month….

fall leaves
So, that ends the weather portion of this blog post. In other news, I haven’t died.
Or fallen off Signal Hill.
Or been recruited to solicit Jesus pamphlets door-to-door…although, that does sound like a hoot, doesn’t it?
Because I wouldn’t be able to pander Jesus pamphlets with a straight face and without being a tad sarcastic….”No, really lady you need to know about Jesus. I have this plastic Jesus mold right here that can be used to make toast in Jesus’ likeness, so every morning you can make Jesus toast and feel like you’ve truly had a Blessed Breakfast”… “or Holy Bread” ….JESUS EGGS!!! OMG that would be great. Jesus eggs…the ultimate in Sacred Omelets….why hasn’t any breakfast chains like IHop picked up on this yet?
Come in for Sunday brunch and have Jesus Toast and Holy Eggs cooked the way He would like…sunny side up, but hold the pork products.
Forget the Last Supper, how about the Blessed Breakfast?
Bountiful Brunch?
Sorry, I’ll stop now.
This has been a wonderful distraction. I’ll get back to doing whatever it was I was doing before the whole Jesus thing began.
I’m glad we had this talk.

It's Jesus!  In toast!  Brilliant.

It’s Jesus! In toast! Brilliant.