Sunday, 12 September 2010

Summers in One Direction

Sunday, 12 September 2010
My Dad is a Shipwright by trade. Like me, he was born on the North East coast of England, where the wind that whips off the North Sea is mostly air, mixed with 2 parts coal smoke and 2 parts salt. I’m sure it isn’t blood that pumps through his veins, it’s seawater. Growing up in Southern Ontario within easy distance of the Great Lakes and its canals and waterways went a long way to soothing his salty soul, but every once in a while I guess the airstreams must have carried echoes of the shipping forecasts across the Atlantic and reminded the Oul’ Fella that he was too long away from salt water. So when I was a kid, our summer vacations were usually almost always in road trip form – and always, ALWAYS eastward -- to the ocean.

Nova Scotia, Boston, Prince Edward Island, Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach... regardless of geography the routine would be the same: my Dad would find us a spot to park, walk across the sand, roll his jeans up to his knees as the ebb and flow of the Atlantic Ocean salted the roots of his English heart. “Taste it,” he’d always tell us, “taste the water... isn’t it salty?” And we would, and he’d smile and so did we.

And so here the summer is over – as luck would have it, I found myself between jobs for the duration so I took my own kids to the sea... okay, okay; we only live ten minutes from the thing, but for the first time in my children’s lives I was not working full time during their summer break. We didn’t go far, just day trips here and there, but I hope when they are older that they will remember ‘The Summer That Mam Wasn’t Working’ as one of the most fun they had.

Here is a song from my childhood – one of my Dad’s favourites... and a fitting soundtrack.