As I write this, it’s early Friday morning and I just finished watching a floatplane take off from Howey Bay. I sat on a bench at the turn-around with a coffee and followed the plane as it slowly inched its way from one end of the bay to the other. The distinct idling sound, then the dramatic build-up to the take-off is still ringing in my ears as I sit down at my desk to write this (someone who knows more about planes would likely be able to tell you the model and exact year it was built, and probably who the pilot was, too). Not too long after we all heard another one buzz our office building. It caught everyone’s attention. The sound of a floatplane is always such a welcome one after months of winter. It’s a sound to mark the changing seasons. And for me, it triggers all kinds of happy memories of my childhood living just up the hill from Bruce Channel where they would take off and land what seemed like a hundred times a day in summer.
The floatplane I watched this morning was the first one I saw take off in 2014. And what a beautiful site it was, especially with the sun reflecting off the open water (a steely shade of blue-grey since it’s a bit overcast) but rippling and clear and not covered in ice. Finally.
I’m not going to lie, this is the day I’ve been waiting for since freeze up 2013. I’ve always made the best of winter and enjoy snowshoeing and winter bush hikes and ice fishing and all the lovely cold weather hobbies we take up just to keep ourselves from freezing or going crazy during our frigid and seemingly never-ending northwestern Ontario winters, but I’m certainly a summer girl at heart.
For me, there’s nothing more enjoyable than kicking my feet up in a lounger chair, with some garden dirt under my nails and a cold beverage in hand (strawberry-peach sangria, anyone?), about to open a good book. Even work like cutting grass, pulling weeds, and hosing off my car feels good when I’m doing it in the sun. Summer just has that perfect don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff, laid back vibe.
And as I turn to my calendar for the next three months, I can’t help but smile about all the fun times ahead: festivals, friends, family, fires, fish fries, and watching the sun dip down below the horizon while floating in a quiet, still bay.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: don’t jinx the nice weather! A few weeks ago I started typing out the classic spring-is-here editorial and it snowed. Seriously. But I think it’s safe to say that with the lake open and floatplanes coasting through our clear blue skies, we’re home free.
So, we got through it! We got through those bitterly cold mornings of scraping our windshields in the dark. We got through the months of driving treacherous roads, of wiping fogged-up glasses, of thawing out numb fingers and toes, and of piling on the itchy layers.
Summer is right around the corner, guys. Have a safe and happy one. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Because you and I both know, this season is here for a good time, not a long time. Soon the sound of floatplanes will fade into background noise and slip back out of our lives as quickly as it came.