This summer has been a hot one for pretty much everyone in the world, based on what I hear and see on the news, and it has been devastating for so many that I try hard not to complain too much about the heat and humidity in our particular neck of the woods. But to say that I really, really dislike summer weather (and always have) is an understatement. I have always preferred the fall: with its crisp days, spectacular foliage and cold nights just made for cuddling up with the one you love. I am not much of a fan of sweating and I can’t say that I like it when my clothes stick damply to my skin and my legs make an audible ‘pop’ every time I get out of my favourite easy chair. I am not crazy about mosquitoes and black flies: especially when they get stuck to my clammy skin. I do not like climbing into a car that feels as though it was just being used to broil chicken. I do not like lying on top of the covers in bed at night as sleep once more eludes me because its just too frickin’ hot to sleep. I do not appreciate how my head feels like it has been placed under one of those 60s dryer helmets for weeks on end.
This summer, like just about everyone else we know, my husband and I have tried to find relief any way we can. We are blessed to live near lots of water: all of it clean enough to swim in. One of our favourite swimming holes (I have actually written about it before), is a little off the beaten track, just a 45-minute drive from our home. My husband, our dog Buddy and I throw ourselves with great gusto into the deep pool at the foot of a series of waterfalls, several times a week. Very often, these trips are followed by a stop at an ice-cream place just to ensure that we properly cool our insides as well. Simple, inexpensive country life, at its best (two generous cones never cost more than a grand total of 5$. Canadian…)
A few days ago, on a particularly awful hot day, we couldn’t get to our swimming hole fast enough. We were out of the car and purposefully heading for the water when I innocently asked my husband, “You’re not bringing your towel?”
He stopped dead, giving me a long, stricken once-over as he said “It’s in the basket. With the car keys. Why aren’t you carrying the basket??!”
Well, because I never carry the basket. I always leave the basket in the car where the dog can’t step on it, shake himself dry over it or give it an interested chew. The. Keys. Were. In. The. Car. And my husband hadn’t brought his phone (not that this would have mattered much as he would have left it in the car – or the basket – in any case). Here we were, in the middle of nowhere, in our bathing suits, with no way back into our vehicle. To top it off, I had left my glasses in the car so was left to peer around at blurry greenery, a blurry dog, a blurry (locked) car and an exasperated, blurry husband.
Who. Had. Just. Stopped. Smoking. Two. Days. Before…
Luckily, we live in rural New Brunswick, where people are inclined to be both friendly and helpful. Two young men who had also come for a swim (and who had the ‘good sense’ to carry their phones with them – right to the water line) kindly came to our rescue. After much searching on-line for the emergency-assistance number (which we did have, written down, in the frigging car), we finally tracked down a towing service that would help us. If he could find us, that was, he cheerfully told my now-trying-really-really-hard-to-be-patient husband. He also assured my husband that we had ‘plenty of time’ to go for a swim while we waited. To his credit, my husband – face growing darker with each passing minute – politely thanked the man on the other end of the line and then carefully, ever-so-gently, handed the young man his phone.
The towing service did eventually find us (so did a bunch of mosquitoes and blackflies). And only left a small dent in the door (I have also previously written about my husband’s love of cars. Especially whatever car he happens to be driving at the time. Again, to his credit, my husband didn’t say a word – at the time, that is – about the dent). And we did have a lovely (albeit slightly preoccupied) swim. Our happy, easy-going dog made friends with a group of kids who crowded over to have a look when the tow truck finally appeared. “Why would you lock your keys in the car?” asked one young fellow, thankfully addressing me, and not my husband, whose temper was still in check but disintegrating with each passing minute. “Aw, it happens,” I answered, peering at him good-naturedly; rather glad that I couldn’t see his facial features all too clearly. There is nothing quite as condescending as 12-year-old condescension.
We did stop for an ice-cream on our way back home.
My husband also purchased a pack of cigarettes
And I wisely kept my mouth shut…
Patti Moore Wilson/© wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com