The signs of summer's demise are around us. Not only are the stores filled with back-to-school supplies but, to make matters worse, some have even begun displaying Halloween candies and costumes! As long as the mercury continues to hit the highs it should be illegal for any hint of autumn to spoil the mood. Unfortunately, it's too late. Having seen the gummy vampire teeth at the local dollar store, Lydia has gone into a tail-spin. Her summer bucket-list has been dusted off and she's marshaling the family like a crazed general trying to get it completed.
"Ok, today we're going to Paddys Head," she advised us over a pile of water shoes, snorkels, and wetsuits. "Tomorrow we're going to Martinique Beach. On Wednesday you can take Mitchell to Batman. Then on Thursday you can take the kids to the Minas Basin during the day and I'll take Sylvia to Shakespeare by the Sea at night."
For the briefest of moments Lydia paused. Stupidly, I thought she was done. But she had more.
"On the weekend, I've got us booked at the Ovens for camping," she informed us.
After a few more ‘suggestions' Lydia finally wound down. I was exhausted just listening to her itinerary!
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about Lydia taking control. Every family needs someone to make sure stuff gets done — and that includes having fun. Left to me, summer would drift by in a lackadaisical fashion. I operate on whims and bursts of sudden interest. Lydia is the opposite. Everything is written down, scheduled, investigated, completed, and then checked off.
Before leaving for Paddys Head, I noticed the large rocket in the basement. It was almost finished, almost ready to blast off — as it had been when I bought it at the start of summer. It stood near the incomplete replica of Doctor Who's robot companion, K-9 that Sylvia and I were still working on. A project begun over a year ago!
Maybe I needed General Lydia to weigh in on these projects.
As for Paddys Head, it was a blast. We swam with triggerfish, rare foreign visitors to our surprisingly warm waters. We also saw hundreds of crabs and several large lobsters.
Lydia could now check off one item from the list but she had given me a fresh notion.
"Can we stop by Fisherman's Market?" I asked, as visions of melted butter and cracked claws danced in my head.
Kevin Toal is a freelance writer who has enjoyed the best summer in years.