When the sun is shining brightly, the kids are playing at the beach, games are underway, golfers are burning up the fairways and long-awaited summer vacations finally arrive. It’s hard to believe that there ever was a “winter” in this neck of the woods.
A visitor here for the first time, who had never seen our province in January, must find it highly unlikely that we could ever be in the grip of ice and snow in such a beautiful environment. Our visitors must look around at this verdant summer scene and wonder about the stories they’ve heard of ice, snow, bitter cold, toques, scarves and thermal underwear. Those are winter images hard to conceive in the midst of Manitoba’s fabulous user-friendly season.
I guess the greatest winter weather break we receive is an occasional El Nino. That’s the warming of the Pacific Ocean that throws off the usual weather patterns in North America. While it usually means dreadful, extreme weather conditions for so many people elsewhere, here, at home, we are blessed with less snow and cold than we remember.
It’s undoubtedly true that we get more pleasure out of our relatively short summers than other people in gentler climates. In fact, three of the four seasons really do seem more special to Manitobans, and we never take them for granted, as perhaps others do.
Having said that, why does it always rain just as you plan a big outdoor event? Shouldn’t Mother Nature guarantee perfect weather all summer long? We deserve it, right? We serve our time during the big chill of winter, and now that summer is finally here, we expect nothing less than meteorological perfection. Luckily, for the most part, we get it.
And where do mosquitoes figure into this wonderful summer equation? Uh, what mosquitoes? Are there mosquitoes here? Really. Haven't noticed. And anyway, they’re probably not all that bad, eh?
And if you fall for any of that, I have swampland at Victoria Beach you’ll like.
• The definition of “tourists:”People who travel thousands of miles to get a picture of themselves standing beside their car.
• Husband to wife, “This summer why don’t we visit some place we haven’t been for a long time — home!”
• Does anyone remember the old days when “gracious summer living” meant that you had your own electric fan?
• Sign in a service station: “Get a bang out of your vacation trip — travel on thin tires!”
• Harry and Charlie are sitting on the end of the pier fishing and catching nothing. Finally, Charlie says, “You know, it's great to be on vacation, but I think all the fish have gone on vacation, too.”
• Overheard on the beach: “It seems to me that either this year’s girls are bigger or this year’s bikinis are smaller.”
• Sign at an out-of-the-way roadside vegetable stand: “Please stop in for corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, or directions back to town.”
• A summer camping enthusiast is a fellow who pays big money for the same accommodations he griped about in the army.
• Two guys at the race track are assessing their lack of luck in picking the right horses, and one says: “As I see it, this is the only place on earth where an animal can take several thousand people for a ride at the same time.”
His friend chimes in with: “Yeah, and it’s also the only place on earth where windows clean people!”