I spent last weekend in Kelowna with 15 young women aged 18 to 22.
Feeling duly chastised over the loss of my column space last Thursday (a minor disagreement with the editor), I thought the sunny Okanagan might be a nice escape for me and the Trudeaucats' good company for a couple days.
This meant I would miss the Love Canada rally in front of Kamp's office to protest Harper's latest bill to mould the country into his own image: arrogant and autocratic, but well-dressed with a nice coif and a Christian mentality.
I'm sure Rev. Bob and others did just fine without me. I've thrown enough overripe verbal fruit at Kamp through the years to stop a bear in its tracks, but it ain't done much good, so I figured I could repair to Kelowna in good conscience to play a little softball, drink some Okanagan Pale Ale, and marvel at the topography: those hills and valleys covered in orchards and fine homes and swept clean by the dry winds.
We took the Coca-Cola Highway there and back, and there was still snow here and there, making the short pants and the sandals a trifle premature when one left the car at a rest stop.
It's good to get away, even for two or three days: away from the dead cats and the double stabbings, tragic stories of life ended too soon for man and beast; good to forget about how nasty we can be to one another, and play games for a while, eat hot dogs and pizza, and watch our charges have a good time on and off the field before they all get married and have kids and responsibilities and grow serious and jaded and have to find their own solace somewhere.
As it was, we did not do as well as expected, but came away wiser for the effort - poorer, a tad hungover, and sleep-deprived.
The Tylers took a small detour to Vernon before we headed home to watch a very talented young team of peewee girls take home first-place medals in another tournament, just down Old Vernon Road, by the airport where you could buy a dish of perogies and poutine at the concession, with a Greek side salad, and ask Coach Kelly Brack the secrets to his success. (Wait'll they grow up, Kelly, and the only thing they can think about is what bars to hit Friday night!).
These are the early days of the silly season, too cold and wet yet, but still there are signs: we did see our Linda doing a walkabout on the Lougheed last week, getting the twins out there for a little fresh air; and the bears are quite active these days, knocking over an outdoor shelf on our back deck and leaving paw prints on one of the windows.
One might be careful about leaving the back door open, lest Brother Bruin drops in for a snack, as in, "Is that fur in the spinach dip?"
This may not speak to summer, but several big cities - and I am sure this one - are expressing concern over the numbers of cigarette butts on the streets, in the parks, and on the beaches of our urban landscape, butts that are apparently a bit of an environmental hazard as they break down and wash into creeks and rivers and deposit their carcinogenic components therein.
Just when we thought we had those nefarious smokers on the run, here they are leaving their droppings all over the place, making the world their ashtray. Surely there is some solution beyond hiring more bylaw enforcement officers to hand out tickets: some type of small portable ashtray, perhaps, where the smokers can place their butts for transport home or to the nearest receptacle, much like the dog-poop bag.
Whatever, as the girls say, win or lose, tomorrow's another day.