When the Tough Times Teach You a Lesson

The silver lining is there. Can you see it?

I went to a funeral yesterday.  My sister in law lost her Dad.  He was in his 86th year, and the last year or so had been a rough one for their family.  They have gone through a lot.  Hopefully they are at peace now knowing that he is now at peace, and they can move on remembering the best of times with him and keeping him alive in their hearts.

I also received news last week that a man that I have known since I was a little girl whom I have respected and admired for the better part of my life, has died.  I knew him through work, and didn’t see him very often anymore, but he was a wonderful man, and upon hearing that he passed away, I was quite saddened.  He was a younger man, in his 60’s I believe, with a wife, children and grandchildren.  He was probably on the brink of what would have been one of the best times of his life.  He and his wife likely would have travelled quite a bit, and I imagine his retirement years would have been very full and very blessed, had he not been taken so early.

Neither of these passings effected me directly.  There are a lot of other people who are suffering due to these losses, and though they have impacted me somewhat, my prayers are with the people that are truly grieving their father, husband, grandfather, etc.

Everything in life holds a lesson though, and I like to try to take something away from every experience.  Therefore, when things like this happen, they get me thinking.  These are two different situations, yet the ultimate outcome is the same:  there are two families out there that are grieving a loss right now.

I don’t think about death very much, though I will admit that since I had my son I have definitely considered it a lot more.  I think it’s natural when you have children to think about dying – hoping you stick around as long as possible so you don’t miss anything, making plans in case tragedy strikes and your child needs to be provided for, etc.

But it is in times like this, where you encounter loss that strikes a little closer to home, that you really realize that what they say: “you can be here one moment and gone the next” is totally true.  Some day, we’re not going to be here anymore.  When I look at it this way, it makes every minute precious.  It makes wasting time a horrible thing.  It makes me want to grab on to the people I love and squeeze them tight, so that there will never be a question of how much I love them.

I try to find the good and the positive in every situation.  Maybe a month from now, when I’m stressing about something that I can’t change, that I shouldn’t be stressing over, I’ll look back on this time and remember that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.  Maybe 3 months from now when it’s summer and my kid is driving me crazy because it’s summer and he is bored, I’ll remember this and instead of pulling my hair out, I’ll take a deep breath and remember he’s a kid, and he’s bored, and he just wants my attention.  Maybe when my Dad cooks something in my kitchen and leaves the stove a mess because he boiled something over, I’ll remember that I’m just lucky that a) someone is cooking me a meal and I don’t have to do it, and b) someday he won’t be here to cook for me and I’ll remember this wishing he was messing up my stove again.

Life is full of tough times.  Some times are worse than others.  Some people seem to have it worse than others.  I think the important thing to remember is when tough times happen, the best way we can deal with them is to look for the positive things.  I believe every cloud has a silver lining, and there is a lesson to be learned from everything life sends our way.

Until next time.

Kelley Armstrong Photobombed Me

The one and only Kelley Armstrong during her Q&A
The one and only Kelley Armstrong during her Q&A

Well, not really.  Not intentionally, it just looked like a photobomb.  Sorta.  So it doesn’t count.  But whatever.  I’ll get to that.

Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors.  I have reviewed some of her books on this blog here, here, and here.  I love her style of writing, I love her characters.  I have read almost all of her novels and novellas both for adults and young adults, and enjoyed each one.  The fact that she is from the London, Ontario area is very cool to me as well.

Naturally, when I heard from my bestest Jolene that Kelley Armstrong was going to be doing a book signing and a pre-release event for her latest book Sea of Shadows where you could meet her and have her sign the book for you 3 days before it comes out, I was in.  Especially when I found out that it was as close as Brampton, ON.  Okay, at first I thought it was in Burlington, not Brampton.  But that’s a long, not very interesting story that doesn’t really bring anything to this story, so I won’t expand on that.

So I got an e-mail from Jolene a few weeks ago, telling me that Kelley Armstrong was going to be in Brampton, because she knows that I like her books a lot.  I immediately asked her if she was free and wanted to meet me there.  A true testament to what an amazing friend she is: she didn’t hesitate to agree to drive over an hour to meet me and stand in line with me to wait for an author she has never read, and probably never will read, as it is a genre that she has no interest in.  I also called my good buddy Karen, who I have to credit with introducing me to Kelley’s books in the first place.  She was in too.  I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I have awesome friends. 🙂

We had an awesome day, got to meet Kelley Armstrong (who is charming as all heck), and got to spend time with two of my dearest friends.  We had a lovely lunch, and we had a great time with lots of laughs.

If you’re into the supernatural at all, both adult fiction and YA, be sure to check out Kelley Armstrong’s books.  She has created an awesome world and characters you fall in love with.  Start with the 13 books in the Otherworld series.  Bitten is the first one.  That’s a good place to start.

Waiting in line
Waiting in line
Meeting a favourite
Meeting a favourite
Sadly, the only pic of Jolene from the day.  She was taking them all!
Sadly, the only pic of Jolene from the day. She was taking them all!
Doesn't it look like she photobombed me?  Maybe?  A little?
Doesn’t it look like she photobombed me? Maybe? A little?

It’s Been a Long Winter

Winter 1
At least someone looks like he enjoyed winter!

I think that statement is the biggest understatement of the year.  We have had an incredibly long, cold, snowy winter this year.  It was only a few weeks ago that the high temperature reached a number on the positive side of freezing, and that was only for a couple of days and then we were back to -10, -17, -29, with wind chills at times of -40.  It is only now that looking at the 14 day weather forecast (which could also be a bunch of malarky, but here’s hoping) and the high temperature is consistantly in the positive numbers every day.  This is like a heat wave.  Even though there is only 2 days in the next 14 that we are supposed to be above 10 degrees.

Winter seemed to start early this year.  Earlier than usual anyway.  The last two winters before this we barely had any snow or cold weather at all.  I don’t think we took our snowblower out of the garage once in either year.  This year probably seemed far worse in comparison to those two years, but the cold temperatures certainly didn’t help.  Since the beginning of 2014, we have been under at least 3-4 cold temperature alerts, and they tend to last for about 2 weeks at a time.  It has been brutal, and it hasn’t let up.  Every week it seemed to be about a new system, a new storm, a new pileup on the highway.

But, what can you do?  We live in Canada, we accept the winter along with the rest of the seasons.  Hopefully we have a nice long hot summer where we can spend lots of days at the beach.  That will help make up for it.

At Disney on Ice
At Disney on Ice

Overall though, we have had a good winter.  We have kept busy, and done some fun things. Back in February, we went to see Disney on Ice at Budweiser Gardens.  It’s the second year in a row we have gone now, and we really enjoy it as a family.  The look on Nicholas’ face when he sees Mickey and Donald and Goofy – is a true testament to the magic of Walt Disney.  It also adds to our conviction that we really need to try to go to Florida to take him to Walt Disney World.  I think we are going to try to go next February.  If Disney on Ice makes him excited, I can only imagine what Main Street USA will do to him.  I went when I was a kid – and again with Joe when we were engaged, and I seriously can’t wait to go back.  I really hope we get to go next year.  I really want Nicholas to experience it.

A little later on in February, we went with my parents to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.  We drove through a snowstorm to get there (how fitting), but we had a wonderful time.  We stayed for two nights.  If you’re not familiar with GWL, it is amazing, and worth checking out, especially if you have kids.  It is a huge lodge themed resort that has an awesome arcade, bowling, mini golf in the summer, and among other things, over 100,000 square feet of water park.  The water park is simply amazing.  There are slides, a wave pool, lazy river, splash pad with bucket, hot tubs, and so much more.  We all had a really amazing time.  This place is so geared towards kids, it is so relaxed and fun, we were all really sorry to leave.  It is an awesome place for loads of family fun, and we have made plans to go back again for a couple of nights in May for Nicholas’ Birthday.  It is a bit expensive to go, but if you plan ahead, and take snacks, it can be doable.  It’s totally worth it.

The Family at Great Wolf Lodge
The Family at Great Wolf Lodge

The rest of the winter has been good.  The frigid temperatures have made it hard at times because even a beautiful sunny day can be hard because when you would normally be outside playing you can’t, because the news reports are saying that exposed skin can freeze in 2-5 minutes.  Not exactly the type of weather you want to send your kids outside to play in.  Nicholas has managed to get out tobogganing a couple of times this winter though, he got a new sled for Christmas, and has enjoyed those times out very much.

Winter 4
Out on the hill

In other news, my Mom just celebrated a Birthday this month.  She turned 65 years young.  She continues to inspire me on a daily basis with her energy, her dedication, and her ability to get things done.  She may be 65, but she really is so much younger than that.  She and Dad are selling their house, my childhood home, to move into an apartment in town.  This is going to be bittersweet for everyone I think.  It will be odd that they won’t be living in their house anymore, there were so many good memories there.  Still, it’s time.  Where they are is too much for them to comfortably look after.  It is getting to be way too much, especially for Dad, and Mom doesn’t want to live anywhere that she doesn’t feel that she can effectively look after.  Being in an apartment will be so much better for them.  No grass to cut, no snow to shovel.  They are looking forward to it, and it will mean that they will live even closer to us, so we’re happy about that too.

65 years young!
65 years young!

So that’s it for the updates I guess.  Not much else to say at this point.  We sit and we patiently wait for summer to come around again.  I look at the local forecast and it says 2 degrees.  This makes me happy!  Tomorrow is supposed to be a high of 11.  This makes me want to dance!  If you read this blog and/or know me at all, you know that I love days at the beach or by the pool, and though I do love each and every season, I am certainly excited to feel a bit of warmth when I step outside.  I’m looking forward to running out to the store or to work or wherever without having to put a coat on.  To slip on a pair of sandals and go.  Those days are coming, we just have to keep being patient I guess.

 

I just wanted to make a note about this blog.  I have a few plans for it, which include expanding the focus slightly.  There will be more about that to come in future weeks.  I know that lately I haven’t been blogging as much, and I really hope to turn that around a bit.  I haven’t had a computer at home for quite a while now, so I have had to resort to blogging when I can, and often on an iPad.  Now I love my iPad, but it is really not the greatest thing to write nice, long blog posts on.  It’s also a little hard to format the posts on the iPad.  Not for everyone maybe, but definitely for me.  I recently got a new computer for various reasons, and I’m hoping that this will lead to many many more blog posts in the future, about various topics, on a regular basis.  I know I’ve made this promise before, but now I have the tools, and I mean to use them.

Hope you’re having a great weekend, and you’ll be hearing from me soon.

 

 

 

Weekend at Home – In the Kitchen

I love to cook, I love to bake. If you know me, or if you read this blog, you know this. But sometimes I find that cooking gets a little tedious for me. If I haven't planned ahead, it's getting home at 5:00 pm through the week, and thinking to myself, what the heck am I going to cook? What can I throw together to get supper on the table fast?

It loses something like this. The passion goes out of it and it becomes a pain in the ass. Then the weekend comes and we go out somewhere, or you just don't feel like it, so you just eat whatever. It's not always like this, but sometimes that's the way it goes.

This weekend the weather has been BAD. I figured that we weren't going anywhere and that we wouldn't be seeing anyone. I got up Yesterday morning and thought to myself: I feel like cooking! I feel like baking! A quick trip out to the store (once the laneway was shovelled) and I was good to go. I thought I would share some pictures of some of the things I made. Though if you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen these. 🙂

 

The beginnings of Italian Wedding Soup

The little meatballs that go in

The finished product

Homemade spaghetti sauce at the beginning stages

A few hours later, all done.

Tasty lemon loaf

A meatloaf – last nights supper.

This morning I made a banana bread.

 

I had a lovely weekend, home with my family.

Now I have to figure out what to cook for supper tonight. I was thinking a nice teriyaki chicken…stay tuned!

 

10 Things I Want to Teach My Kid

School
Off to school to learn stuff. But there is so much that I want to teach him that you can’t learn in school.

We are only on this earth for so long.  We only have so many opportunities to learn from life, and we learn so much from our parents, and older relatives, and those that are supposed to be smarter than us.  It’s human nature.  We learn from and emulate those that set examples for us.  Those that we love, those that we trust, those that raise us.  Sometimes we learn about the type of person that we want to be, sometimes we watch them struggle with things and resolve never to have to deal with their issues ourselves.  Either way you look at it, either way it goes, it’s still learning something.

I have a 5 year old son.  I love him to pieces.  He is the most important thing in the world to me.  People come and go in your life.  But your children come from you and they will always be yours.  You will always bear some type of responsibility where they are concerned, and it is up to us as parents to do everything we can to give them a good start.  Good values, the ability to see what is right from what is wrong, and to be able to prioritize things in life so we don’t let trivial things get in the way of what is truly important.  We need to give them the tools to have good relationships, to treat people with respect and dignity, and to grow up to be aware individuals that will contribute in a meaningful way to society.

In order to do this, we need to teach them things.  By example and by just plain telling them and showing them how.  If I leave this world tomorrow if I get hit by a bus, or 50 years from now from natural causes (what I’m hoping for) or anything in between, there are things that I want to teach my kid before I go.  Lessons that I want him to learn from me, and from my example.

The top 10 things, in no particular order are:

1. Take risks.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.  If someone gives you an opportunity to do something, don’t stand back shaking your head because you’re scared.  Take the plunge and do things that are out of your comfort zone.  You’ll have a lot more regrets in life because of the things you didn’t do because you were scared than the things you did do.

2. Be responsible.  This ties in closely with taking risks.  Every little thing you do has an impact.  It impacts your life and the lives of those around you.  Always think about how your actions may reflect on others.  Think twice before you speak.  If it looks negative, think twice about it and tread very carefully.  Rely on your basic knowledge of right and wrong (which hopefully I will have taught you) when making decisions.  When you take the risks above, always be responsible and safe, never putting a whim ahead of your own safety or that of others.

3. Believe in something.  I’m raising you in the Catholic faith, as I was raised and your father  was as well.  I have you in Catholic school, take you to church, and pray with you every night.  This is my gift to you.  As you get older, your beliefs may change.  You may take different paths, begin believing in different things.  You may meet a girl (or boy – who knows?) that shows you a different way of life, a different type of faith, and that’s okay.  As long as you have something to believe in, somewhere to go, someone to pray to, a community to support you.  A good, solid belief system and set of values to live your life by, that teaches you to treat others as you want to be treated.

4. Look after yourself.  There may come a time in life where you may be alone.  You may move away from your family for a job or school, you may just live on your own sometime, doing your thing.  Know how to look after yourself.  Learn how to cook, how to do laundry (including how to properly fold a fitted sheet).  Learn how to properly clean a bathroom and remember to change your sheets once a week.  These are all important things that some people, men in particular (sorry guys, but it’s true!) never learn to do.  They wait for others to do it for them.  They eat out 4 days a week and survive on ramen noodles and Kraft Dinner the other days.  Learn to do things for yourself and you’ll never have to rely on others.

5. It’s okay to ask for and accept help.  This ties in with the above point.  While you should know how to look after yourself, it’s absolutely okay to ask for and accept help sometimes.  Sometimes you just can’t do it all alone.  Sometimes you just don’t want to do it all alone.  It’s okay to let someone you trust in to share the burdens life brings, both mental and physical.  There is no shame in it.  And chances are, those that love you will be more than happy to help if you only ask.

6. Never lose sight of who you are.  You will meet people in life that want you to change.  You know what?  Sometimes that’s okay.  Sometimes a change of behaviour is needed.  You’re not always right about everything.  There may be a better way of doing things.  But if someone asks you or tries to make you become someone you are not, or do something that goes directly against what you believe in, don’t be afraid to put on the brakes.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and who you are and say – “I am who I am.  If you don’t love me for it, then love me in spite of it.  But don’t try to change the essence of me, because I’m worth being me.”  Healthy relationships are wonderful, but never let someone else define who you are.

7. Money isn’t everything.  We’ve all heard it before, and we’ve all rolled our eyes at it.  Sure, money doesn’t fix your problems but it sure helps to make life easier.  Which is true.  I’ve gone through financial difficulties, and I will admit – life is a lot easier to plan when you don’t have to worry so much about where your next dollar is coming from.  It’s important to plan for your future.  It’s important to be responsible enough to make sure your bills are paid and you’re saving for retirement.  But it’s also important to live life.  Treat yourself to indulgences every now and then if you can.  Have fun.  Do things.  Don’t wait until you’re 65 and filthy rich to start living life.  Live it every day and don’t have regrets.

8. Stay in school.  Education is everything.  It gives you opportunities, it opens doors.  Even when things get hard, find a way.  Finish.  If the opportunity is there, learn more.  Always keep your mind open to learning new things.  Read, read, read.  Read anything you can get your hands on.  Books, magazines, online or in print.  Worlds can be opened to you by reading, and it’s often free.  Always remain a student – in the classroom or in life.

9. Work hard and give your best in everything you do.  If you can look back and say “I did my absolute best” you will never regret not trying hard enough.  When you work hard, people see it and you go can places because of it.  Your work ethic and reputation will precede you wherever you go.  Work hard and live up to it.

10. Love DOES conquer all.  Love people.  Allow yourself to be loved.  A safe, healthy, loving relationship is one of life’s greatest gifts.  Don’t shut yourself off from those who love you, no matter how easy it may be to do so.  Sometimes love is hard.  Sometimes it’s about loving someone so much that you realize that you need to let them go in order for you both to be happy – because together it just doesn’t work.  Don’t be afraid or shy to show your love.  Love your friends, and tell them you love them.  If someday you are blessed with children, make sure they know every night when they rest their head on their pillow that they are the most precious thing in the world to you.  Give love freely, and accept it freely…….especially from your mother.  😉

Just 10.  There are so many more.  And so many more that he has taught me or reminded me of in his five years.  Maybe that will be what my next post is about.

How about an update?

newsWow.  I suck as a blogger.  Nothing from the peanut gallery, thank you very much.

It seems like I do really well blogging for a while, then it all goes to hell in a handbasket.  I guess I get busy, or things are going really well, or I don’t have much to write about in my personal life (because I’m always reading or cooking – the other two topics in this blog)

Anyway, enough excuses.

Considering the last time I wrote for this blog was in August – I must have tons of things to update everyone on.

My son started Senior Kindergarten.  All day, every day for the first time.  He was going all day every other day last year.  I expected huge adjustments and was worried about all kinds of things – all of which were unfounded.  He has adjusted to full time school with remarkable ease, and so have we.  He goes off to school each morning in a great mood, and comes off the bus very happy most days.  We’re so proud of him and how far he has come since last year at this time.

Joe’s job is going well.  He is happy.  He has been in his current position for just over a year now and he seems to really enjoy what he does.  I’m so glad he took the leap 4 years ago and went back to school.  It was tough for a while, but it turned out to be the best thing for our family.

Everyone is doing well.  Joe and I are planning a little getaway with some friends in Niagara Falls in a couple of weeks, and we’re both really looking forward to that.  Halloween is later this week, Nicholas is excited to wear his Police costume.  Christmas is really just around the corner.  I’m anticipating that this is going to be the best Christmas yet with him, because he now fully understands it and his excitement is contagious.

That’s it for now, I promise (I’ve never done this before, have I?) to attempt to bring you a post with some useful or entertaining or thought provoking content at least twice a week from now until the day I die.  You get the drift. Oh, and I updated the look of this page too – cleaned it up a bit.  This may be temporary.

🙂

A Different Kind of Flash Mob

It soothes the heart and soul.
It soothes the heart and soul.

 

 

 

 

 

We all know I love music.  I wrote a post about it here.  Beautiful music is such a gift, and if you really think about it – it’s a truly amazing thing.  It makes my eyes fill up every time.  I’m a sap…I know it.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you have a great Friday, and a great weekend.  I thought I would leave you with this for the weekend.  It’s a flash mob of a different kind.  What I would give to actually be walking by when something like this happens.  Take five minutes to watch this video.  Whether you’re a music fan or not, you can’t deny the awesomeness here.

Summer Vacation – First Update

 

 

Good Tuesday Morning! Second official day of vacation, but technically, I've been off since Friday. It feels good. It's nice, because for the first time in recent memory, Joe and I have vacation at the same time.

So what have we been up to? Keeping busy I guess. The weather has been so so up to this point, but I'm hoping it turns around. Saturday was Nicholas' last day of soccer and it was downright cold. Yesterday we went to visit our friend Jolene in St Catherines and went all tourist to Niagara Falls. I haven't been tourist there for many years unless you count when Joe and I went in October for our anniversary, and we didn't really do anything touristy then. Nicholas has never been to Niagara Falls before, so we thought this would be a good opportunity for him to experience some of it.

Needless to say, he thought it was pretty cool. All our talk about the “big waterfall” didn't really prepare him for how big Niagara Falls is. Even after seeing it as many times as I have, it still fascinates me.

One thing I never got to do in all the times I have visited Niagara, is go on the Maid of the Mist. I did the Journey Behind the Falls as a kid with my family, but we never made it on the boat. Perhaps because every time we went growing up it was in the summer time, and the waits were too long. This time, I did a bit of research about it and decided that we were going. I wanted to see it, and I wanted Nicholas to see it. I knew he would love it.

So we did. It was awesome.

The wait wasn't too bad. Maybe a half hour or so. The view while we waited was pretty great.

 

 

And the boat ride itself was amazing. Nicholas loved it.

 

You really don't realize how massively fantastic The Falls are until you see them from this angle. It makes you realize exactly how small we are compared to this natural wonder.

It was pretty amazing. I highly recommend it.
So yesterday the weather was crap, and after a busy weekend, we pretty much took it easy. We vegged out, and I watched most of a season of How I Met Your Mother – which I have just discovered, and am totally loving by the way.
I love vacation. Whether we do everything, or absolutely nothing at all, it's pretty great. And sitting here on a Tuesday morning, with most of the week still laid out before me, the possibilities are endless. We'll see where we end up.
I'll keep you posted. 😉

 

It’s Hot People! Take your kids out of the car!

hot-sunIt boggles my mind how many reports I have seen of people leaving their kids (and animals for that matter) in their cars in this hot weather we’re having.

With all the media attention this has been getting, I am amazed that people would leave a child unattended in a car at all, for any length of time, let alone in this intense heat.  Children are dying.  Isn’t that enough to say:  “wake up sweetie, you’re coming in the store with me.”

I came across this video in my facebook feed.  I know it’s a simulation, but it brought me to tears.  It brought me to tears because this kind of thing is happening all the time!  Children are being injured, and dying all the time, and it is absolutely 100% preventable.

Please – take a few minutes and watch this video.  Please – understand that this could happen to you.  With all the abductions happening, it is unsafe to leave a child alone in any weather.  Please be responsible, please, please – do what you’re supposed to do.  You have had this child, or you are responsible for this child.  Do what you need to do to protect it.  Please.  And if you happen to be walking past a vehicle with an unattended child in it – get help.  Those few minutes could end up saving a life.

 

Summer’s Here

Copyright 2013 - Aaron Pellerin
Copyright 2013 – Aaron Pellerin

I’ve spent some time away from this blog.  I’ve been journaling a bit lately, but that’s it.  There’s lots of stuff going on, but at the same time I feel like I don’t have anything to write, and I don’t want to put stuff out there unless it means something – at least to me.  

So summer is here.  Beach and pool season is upon us.  Time ticks on…it literally seems like yesterday that it was Christmas, and a week ago that my son started school.  Now we’re into July, his first year of school is over, and he’ll be entering Senior Kindergarten in September.  Full days, every day.  It’ll be a big adjustment for him, and for us.  I think we’ll all do fine though.

Summer is my official favourite time of year.  I always used to say that Fall was my favourite season, and it is definitely up there, but in the last few years, my family and I have started frequenting the beach, and I have to say – summer has stolen my heart.

The beach never used to be a big deal for me.  I hated the sand caught in everything, the having to walk and carry everything from your car parked a mile away down to the water, the semi-clean lake, the buff bikini bods prancing around everywhere making you wish you had brought more towels to cover yourself with.  Also, most of the beaches we went to got deep fairly quick so I spent the majority of the time listening to my mother shout: “Bring it in Danielle!  A little closer to shore!!”  I’m quite a strong swimmer, but she is not, so it definitely worried her when I was too far out of her reach.  Even as I got older.

All that has changed in the last couple of years.  Nicholas was born in May, so honestly, he didn’t get out into the pool too much during his first year.  Since you’re not supposed to put sunscreen on kids less than 6 months old, I spent the majority of that first summer in the shade, making sure his sensitive baby skin wasn’t overexposed to the suns rays.  His second summer was a little better, we spent some time in my parents’ pool, but again, he was so little, that the majority of the time in the water was spent with me holding him and the rest of the time was spent with me worrying that he would fall in the water.  Very nerve wracking. I was identifying with my Mother and how worried she always was about me.

The last couple of years though, we have discovered the beach.  One Saturday we just packed up the car, and took a drive out to Kettle Point to spend the day.  Now let me tell you a little about Kettle Point that makes it perfect, and how it gets past some of the crappy beach stuff that I listed above.  First of all – the sand thing – well, it’s a beach, so there’s no really getting rid of that.  But it’s harder packed sand, so it does cut down a bit on the sand getting into everything.

Another nice thing about this beach is that you drive right up to the water.  A totally new concept for me, you just simply drive your vehicle across the sand, and up to the water.  Pop open your trunk or hatch filled with all your beach stuff, and badda bing, badda boom, you’re done!  No carting all your stuff for miles before you get to the water.  It’s great.  It’s also filled with lots of families, not just the young, buff, “look at me” crowd.

The best thing though, and the reason why I love to take my son there, is that it stays shallow forever.  There is no sudden drop, and you can walk out quite a while before the water even hits your waist.  This is awesome for kids, and I can sit comfortably by the water’s edge and let my son play (luckily he doesn’t venture too far on his own yet) without worrying that he is going to fall into the pool.  I still make him wear his PFD and I along with whoever is with me watch him like a hawk, but he is perfectly content to play in the shallow water and play with the waves as they come in.

The beach has become a source of great joy for me and for my family.  I can literally sit for hours in the non-humid climate, letting the breeze hit me and soak up vitamin D.  The sound of the water is so soothing for me, it is truly my happy place.  Last year I took a vacation day from work, and I spent the entire afternoon at Kettle Point, all by myself.  I sat and read, listened to music, watched the water, swam a bit, probably nodded off a bit.  It was awesome for me and I totally plan to do it again this year.

We’ve made it to the beach once so far this year, and have several plans to go again.  Nothing beats that first breath of air that hits you when you first step out of the car onto the sand.

Do you love summer?  Are you a beach or pool person?  Or would you rather be snowshoeing? Please feel free to hit up the comments.

Have a great summer – and don’t forget your sunscreen.  The sun is awesome, but we must respect it the same way we do the water.