Hot time, summer in the Maple City


Sometimes, the best place to spend a hot summer day in a busy Chatham-Kent is beside a pool.

For us, that was the key this past weekend. We went over to friends Pete and Arlene’s Saturday afternoon to hang out and visit with friends of theirs who were down from Ottawa.

Nothing makes you forget how warm it is outside than a dip in a pool. I didn’t swim this time, as I was working on staying hydrated instead, and shooting the breeze.

But our kid was the poster child for enjoying the pool. She walked over from a nail appointment while Mary Beth and I went shopping for dip, naan bread, lemonade, strawberries and ice.

Of course we ran into several couples we knew (who doesn’t on a Saturday at the grocery store?) and got delayed in conversation. It was at this time that Brenna, our kid, opted to start walking over to our destination.

I should mention she loves to swim, and on this day, the water really beckoned.

So off she went on foot in the heat.

We caught up to her after she’d travelled about two kilometres – she must really have wanted to swim badly, because she was booking it!

But the double edge to that sword is she had worked up a good sweat.

When we got there, the kid went in the front door as we went into the backyard where everyone was. She immediately changed into her bathing suit, came outside, waved to everyone and walked right into the water to cool off.

As quickly as she went in, she got out and properly greeted everyone.

It was funny, as you could see the determination to cool off on her face, followed by the smile of success.

Meanwhile, we heard tales of silliness from the previous evening. We had been invited over, but were exhausted from the heat of Friday and fell asleep before midnight watching “Stranger Things.” The kid laughed as she was watching from the love seat, while Mary Beth and I were on each side of her in recliners. She heard me snoring and looked over to see me out cold, turned the other way to see Mary also checking out the insides of her eyelids. Even the cat was snoring nearby.

But it turns out we weren’t the only tired folks that night. We learned the guys had tried to recreate a drink I’d exposed Pete to the previous weekend over at Eggless Chad’s house – the Porch Climber.

It involves a can of frozen pink lemonade, beer and rye. An odd combo, but it really tastes great, especially in the heat.

Where it tells you to add water, you instead add a similar amount of beer. Then I add maybe four ounces of rye to the pitcher, stir and share. The original recipe called for more rye, but when you are out in the heat, you really don’t need the added bang.
Pete, rather than call or text me to check on the recipe, looked it up online. What he found packed a wallop.

That recipe called for two beers and very healthy dose of vodka. Thank goodness those guys made them in a blender so the concoction got watered down a little more.

But that’s all they needed for their evening, and they wound up asleep by 10 p.m.

We kept things pretty laid back this weekend, but many others didn’t. Events in Shrewsbury, Mitchell’s Bay, and Chatham with Ribfest saw good support from local citizens.

Just another fun-packed weekend in C-K.


A good problem

I recently cursed at Mary Beth and Sarah here at The Voice.

They made my life miserable for a good chunk of our production day after the RM 40/RetroFest weekend.

All they did was do an insanely great job.

Both took pictures over the course of that weekend; a lot of pictures.

It was my job to cut them down for use in print and online.

The first part was to choose from about 180 photos to under 50 for our website. I should mention Sarah had whittled her effort down to about 100 images from a veritable boatload.

Mary sent me about 80.

From there, I whittled away, slowly but surely.

The really hard part was choosing the images that would ultimately make it into the paper, on the front page and in the two photo pages. Mary’s shot of Kid Rock and Rob Myers on front was a no brainer, but choosing the shots from all the other events to accurately capture the amazing weekend was so much more difficult.

Yeah, I know, these are good problems to have. I’m just whining.

I’m thankful we have these two very versatile people working with us. Then again, our small, but mighty staff here at The Voice are all very versatile, able to multi-task and wear multiple hats.

We all live in C-K and are very proud of our communities.

I am very fortunate here in that we have people who are willing to go above and beyond every day, with the common good of the paper at heart.

Everyone who works here has contributed photos to the paper recently. Fatima has often taken better images than I did at events we both attended.

Jeanine contributes regularly, and submitted photos from RetroFest as well.

And Michelle’s images are always colourful and entertaining.

I may curse them for doing too good a job, but I appreciate everything they all do, for sure.


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