By Jan Stadtherr
It’s just another day in paradise living in lake country! But as I write this column for the July issue, the calendar says it’s not officially summer. But it feels like it.
In another month when I’m scraping my brain again about something to write for the August issue, the 4th of July will have passed and we will be saying that summer is half over! Winter should be the shortest season. Why does time go by so fast as we age?
Memorial Day weekend was probably one of the nicest holiday weekends we’ve had in many years this year! There was no rain, the temperatures hovered near 80 degrees, and there was no humidity. It was a perfect weekend for me.
Recalling the days when I was a teenager growing up in Babbitt on the Iron Range, the first thing that comes to mind about Memorial Day is the Argo Cemetery. Every year the high school band played during the memorial service at the cemetery and it usually rained. We always had to remove our white feathery plumes from our hats and tuck them into our uniform jacket so they wouldn’t get wet.
Our two youngest grandchildren and their parents were with us this year at our lake home for that holiday. Taking advantage of the warm weather, Colton and Clarice rode their trikes and bikes, enjoyed playing on the swing set that Pa Pa Ron made for them, took a long ride on the pontoon from which they caught sunfish and bass from the boat and the dock. Three-year-old Clarice caught her first fish, and with a little prodding from daddy, kissed her first of the season.
While fishing off the dock, her dad asked her if she wanted to keep her fish. “No, throw it into the sea.” I think she may have been watching too many videos? She also referred to the lake as a pool.
Clarice has a little friend when she comes to visit. Her name is Alexa, a virtual assistant in the technological world. We have had Alexa for many years but Clarice just recently met her. She talks with her new friend and usually asks her to play favorite songs including the “Baby Shark” song, the “Gummy Bear” song, or “Going on a Bear Hunt.” She and Colton dance to the music and sometimes mommy and grandma join in on the fun and exercise. Alexa gets a good workout when the grandchildren come to visit.
It’s amazing to see how the young grandchildren progress every time we see them. Six-year-old Colton, who just graduated from kindergarten, has expanded his vocabulary every time we see him. The word, “seriously,” was his word for the day. I told him something (can’t remember what it was), and he replied, “Seriously, grandma?” and rolled his eyes and ran off to play.
It’s amazing how important sunscreen has become. It helps us to enjoy summer more. When I was a kid, there wasn’t such a thing. It wasn’t introduced until the mid-70s. With my fair skin, I had to have a good sunburn before my skin would start to turn a light brown. What did I use to get that first burn? Baby oil! As a result, I’m paying for it now with several minor surgeries to remove basal cell cancers.
Today, the grandchildren are sprayed and slathered with a variety of sunscreens, and they wear protective swimwear to protect them from the sun’s rays.
Disrupting our fun outside are the mosquitoes, which are as big as hummingbirds this year! However, this summer has not been a problem with the blood-sucking insect. Rather than hiring someone to come and spray our property, Pa Pa Ron bought a backpack sprayer to kill the so-called state bird of Minnesota himself. Now we can now enjoy our summer more with the grandchildren and other company.
Yes, it’s just another day in paradise! Happy summer!