Monday, October 3, 2016


Where did the summer go? I pondered this question. I sat and pondered until my brain hurt. I sat and pondered until my brain hurt and my ass got sore.

I thought, “How can it be October already? When did the leaves start to turn color? When did I stop wearing my flip-flops? When did I get the heater out?”

This summer seemed to whiz by faster than all the others. I guess it was because I was back to work after a long absence, and this was the first time in a long time that I had only three weeks off instead of the whole summer. But it felt good. My partner, son, and I spent a week in Veradero, Cuba, and then my son and I went to visit my mother in Newfoundland for two weeks.

It was a different kind of summer indeed. I felt that I took advantage of every precious moment of it. As soon as the temperature reached two digits, I was out tanning and soaking up the rays, not as much as I used to do, but getting my Vitamin D, nonetheless. I also spent a lot of time at the pool, swimming, and just hanging out enjoying the warmth. Since I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I decided earlier in the year that once the warm weather and blue skies came, I was definitely going to enjoy every last drop of the summer. And now, looking up at the gray sky, I am glad I got out and took advantage of every wonderful trace of light.

We had a wonderful time in Cuba. The beach along the Veradero strip was absolutely breathtaking: white, hot sand, ocean temperatures above 30 degrees every day, and the mesmerizing ebb and flow of crystal clear ocean waves. If I close my eyes, I can still hear its beautiful melody. We stayed at a small resort called Be Live Turquesa. It was okay for the money we spent. It was run down, and sleeping in the bed was like sleeping on cement. The bed linens and towels were worn and the entire room was very rustic (a polite way of saying old and rickety), and the food was terrible. I was greatly disappointed when I first saw the room, but all that was laid to rest when I saw the beach. Our routine upon waking was coffee at the restaurant, back to the room to change into swimwear, then relaxing by the pool. At noon, we would go to the snack bar for pizza then head to the beach. We swam, we played in the water, we explored up and down the beach, and we collected shells. At six, the beach would close and then we’d head back to the room to shower the day away. If there wasn’t anything appetizing at the restaurant, we’d go to the onsite shop and buy cookies, potato chips, and pop and head back to the room to find a movie on TV. We didn’t go on any excursions because we just wanted to vegetate. I’d definitely go back to that part of Cuba, but perhaps find a more decent hotel.

My son and I had a few hours to get off the plane from Cuba and then catch the plane going to Newfoundland, where we stayed for less than two weeks. It was all I was able to take off work, but it was enough to see the relatives. Well, I tried to see most of the relatives. I was quite surprised that I was able to see my younger brother, Clint. I hadn’t seen him in five years. Then we both got a surprise when our brother, Phonse, came to visit—he lives in New Brunswick, and hardly ever visits Newfoundland anymore. We didn’t get much time together, but the time we did have was priceless. It was quite surreal. There was one great time on the beach, roasting wieners and marshmallows, and everybody just catching up. It was odd that I was one of the oldest ones in the bunch, because usually our aunts and uncles would be there, but here we were being the aunts and uncles. Here we were, lighting the fire, and passing the torch. Ours is a different generation though. Thirty years ago, when my aunts and uncles would be on the beach with a  roaring fire, they’d all have a beer in the hand and the kids would be running around like in the book, Lord of the Flies. All I could think of on that day was how we were drinking Coke and Pepsi instead of Molson and Blue Lite. We are Generation X, we spent our young adult lives partying, and now we are helicopter parents, watching over our children, making sure they are on the path to success, always staying close, paving the way, trying to set a good example for our Millennial children.

Yes, it was quite a summer, but now here I am looking at the gray sky and wondering if it will be a long winter or not. No matter, if I start to feel depressed, all I have to do is look at all the beautiful pictures I took this summer. They will always warm my heart and put a smile on my face, regardless of the color of the sky.