I never lie out in the sun anymore because I can hear my dermatologist reprimanding me if I don't stay in the shade, cover every inch of my body with sunscreen, wear a hat, and long sleeve's even if it's 110° out. My rebellious nature has me laying out in a full blaze on a towel by our Northwest Park pool in central Austin listening to the lapping sounds of water and kids screaming in the shallow end "Marco Polo!" with layers of laughter peeling over the summer lawn and memories flooding back to summers of my childhood in Canada...swimming with my cousin Cheryl, barbies on beach towels, Herb Albert and the Tijuana brass on the loudspeakers, ancient ladies in gold bikinis who had a sheen like my mothers leather purse looking like they'd been tanning for 60 years too long...rubber swim caps with brightly colored floppy flowers all over the tops so the pool always had a rubber flower garden of bobbing heads popping up everywhere...french fries with vinegar… troll dolls with rainbow hair being tossed into the blue deep end to dive for like treasure...the smell of coppertone lotion, chlorine, grilled hamburgers and what seemed like never ending days of play.
Q: Why do they make benches by swimming pools and bus stops in Texas out of metal?
This week I'm up in Buffalo visiting family and taking care of my feisty soon to be 99 year old mum. The break from the Texas triple digits is welcome. It inspires outside evenings of long conversations in the breezy back yard with a glass of cold chardonnay.
Yesterday Lolo, the 98 year young beauty and I drove over the boarder to Canada to spend the day at my sisters rented beach house on Lake Erie. Once again those memories of childhood summers filled me up as we approached customs at the Peace Bridge and saw the Canadian flags flying. Canada just across that bridge. Canada land of maple trees, and maple syrup...Canada where people say "I'm going Ooot" and "It's Aboot time"...kindly Royal Canadian Mounted Police donned in festive red...Canadian Bacon (I'm a vegetarian so why did I say that?) Molson Canadian Lager...fewer gun related homicides: In the USA so far this year over 10,000 compared to 572 in Canada...and handsome Justin Trudeau...who is about as different from our 45th president as you can get which is instantly appealing to me.
At the lake Lolo sat under a maple tree and watched her great grand daughter Lily play in the sand. I played too. We swam in the questionably safe to swim in lake, cannonballs off the dock, underwater shark chase, shell collection hike, sand castle construction, hula hoop-ing, frisbee tossing, swing set swinging, picture drawing, group song and poem writing with Lily's grandma Trudy and grandpa Micky and snacks. I think I'm really happy becoming 6 again.
I make a pact with myself to play like I'm 6 every summer. We should all do that more often. Become 6 again. Worry less. Hula Hoop more.
After roasted corn and grilled trout we pile Lolo into the car and head back to the USA. I very seriously consider what it might take to get dual citizenship. I also consider how I can keep the stresses of the real world out of my body yet stay involved and active. It's tricky being 6 and being an adult. I'll let you know if I figure out how to do that!
Lily drew my band:
Detail of a double bass player
Detail of me...lookin' good! Love the star in my hair!
Speaking of bands!! I'll be singing with GATO 6 at the Elephant Room on Friday August 25th and I hope to see you there!
Probably no hula hoops but we can play!!!
9:30 to 1:30
315 Congress Ave.
Thanks for reading my blog and see you soon!