Monday, June 4, 2012


     Ah, the summertime. My favourite time of year, and that's what Stasha wants us to talk about this week, summer memories.

1 Being the son and grandson of farm folk, the one thing summer meant was..... Hay. Thousands of bales of hay. First cut, second cut maybe even a third in September. Good times.

Click to enlarge the pictures

Katey, Dad and Cathy out of the loft, waiting for the next wagon
I was at the bottom unloading, in shorts and sandals

2 Horses. Summer was/is the time for riding. Lazy trail rides, playing tag in the "sallies" or real cowboys. (Or chasing cattle all over hell's half acre.)

Mom training

Mom and Dad taking Katie and Julie out for a ride

Mom trick riding
Even a little bull riding LOL
My uncle Bob on Magician

3 Hand in hand with the horses, country fairs and horse shows. My grandfather carted us all over Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

My grandfather showing buggies

My cousin Lindsay, proudly displaying her ribbon

4 Reunions. Both sides of the family try and get together at least once over the summer.

The Fisher clan

Some of the Craigs and Dowsetts

5 Weddings. I love going to weddings. Family, friends, all good, just not mine LOL

My aunt Janice with her husband Ken
My favourite picture of the two of them

My aunt Donna with her husband Pat
And my cousins Jason and Darren

My aunt Rita (Rorybore's mom) and her husband Frank

We even have horses at our weddings
My grandfather driving the carriage for my aunt Karen's wedding

My friends, Monica and Llijah, the Pearces

6 Watching thunderstorms. I've been fascinated with thunderstorms since I was little. Now, I love watching them roll into Toronto from over Lake Ontario. Awesome.

7 Water.The beach, the pool, a cottage. Summer on the water is the best.

Rita with a bunch of us at Marlyn and Donny's cottage

Same cottage, my uncle Gordon and his wife Sue
Tried, Tested and True Mommy's parents
Another favourite picture

Aunt Jean and my Mom relaxing at either Silver Lake or Sandy Beach

Uncle Leonard coming in from water skiing

Water = Fishing
Grandpa Craig and my uncle Ken

8 Hanging out. Patios, BBQs, corn roasts, pig roasts, tailgate parties, bonfires and fireworks.
One particular memory that makes me laugh, the look of horror on my cousin Adam's friends as Ferd went on to describe, in great detail, a traditional Filipino recipe for the pig's head. Priceless.

Our hiking/canoeing day trip

Hitting the patios with Andrew after work

Mu uncle Donny BBQing
He makes the best burgers ever

Parties mean casualties

And because I live with the Nerd Herd,
FanExpo, or any comic book convention really

9 No surprise, gardening. After all, I started this, didn't I? I can't lie, summers spent weeding our or either of my grandparents gardens as a kid were not the most joyous of memories. Acres, by hand. Now however, I enjoy  gardening on my little 1/100 of an acre. As I type, pies are cooling on my counter made from rhubarb and strawberries just out of my garden. Being able to walk outside and snip some herbs, grab some beans, cucumbers, tomatoes or salad greens, incredible.

All kinds of flowers
My winter onions putting up next year's  seed sets
Peas sprouting up

I'm pretty sure this is what is happening in my garden when I'm not looking
The swath of destruction they have caused, now explained.

10 Very closely tied to the last one, picking berries. As kids, we roamed all over picking wild raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. We'd get home with stained hands and faces with our haul and ... nothing beats wild blackberry pie. Wild raspberry for my cousin Sherry.

     When my grandmother was ill, she was telling my aunt Barb she wouldn't be able to make Sherry's favourite, raspberry squares. My aunt said she was pretty sure she could make them to which my grandmother replied, but will they be wild raspberries.

I don't have to work quite so hard any more
My thornless blackberry bushes are putting up an amazing bounty this year

     One final thought, being the musical kind that I am, a favourite tune. Have an amazing summer.


  1. Wow! You have an amazing family! Lucky.

    1. Well, I have a lot of them LOL They are pretty amazing (and a lot of fun too.)

  2. What a great set of memories. I also liked seeing another guy on this blog hop. I was starting to get a little worried.

    1. Thanks Wayne. I know what you mean, there are now four of us who post from time to time.

  3. What wonderful photos and memories! Summer time IS the best!

    1. Thanks Donna. You're preachin' to the choir. I LOVE summer.

  4. I love the idea of family reunions! Growing up, my extended family would get together for all the major summer holidays, but now it seems we only see each other at weddings & funerals.
    Great list!

    1. I know exactly what you mean. As the family grows and grows it gets harder and harder but we still try.

  5. Love that song. And wild blackberry pie. And horsing around and family reunions. And gardening. I am on my way Paul!

    1. You'd be more than welcome-there's always room in the loft for another set of hands LOL One day we have to go trail riding, I'll bring pie for after and you can tell me all about the elephants in Kenya.
      Ella and Louie, can't beat that combination.

  6. Follwing your blog via the MONDAY LISTICLES blog hop!
    Check me out!

    1. Thamks Gabby, I'll be sure to stop by your neck of the woods.

  7. Super list! I love weddings, BBQs, watching thunderstorms, and picking berries. We picked huckleberries when I was a kid. Makes great cobbler!

    1. Thanks Terri. I've never had huckleberries. I think we should sit around drinking wine, watching thunderstorms, eating cobbler and pie. Sound good?

  8. Paul, I absolutely love your summer memories. So happy.
    Really wishing I had a pie cooling on my counter right now ;)
    Awesome pictures! I love the one of your mom standing on the horse...she's a brave lady!

    1. Thanks Jen, after a long cold winter, summer is the best time ever.
      I can not lie, I had two pies cooling. A rhubarb and saskatoonberry too. Delicious if I do say so myself. Drop on by, I'm always happy to spread around some calories LOL
      If you squint your eyes just right, you can just get a peek of the person behind her holding her ankles. Goofing around for the camera but it makes for a very impressive picture. She laughed and told me that story when I was all awestruck about what a rider she was.

    2. I am sure I have memories of Deb doing it "for reals" on Beauty...??

    3. What didn't she do on horseback. Deb was/is fearless.

  9. You must have had some hard working summers in the past with all the farming background but it would be fun to take care of the horses and learn to ride. You know I love that picture of the Fan Expo and the one of the squirrels fighting - lol!

    1. Summers sweating it out in the hay fields or the loft, you have no idea. At least there was swimming in the creek after if I was at either grandparent's place.
      Riding them is fun, taking care of them is necessary LOL
      You know I added them just for you, but the world stops here in the Kitchen for every comic book convention. We even hit the one in New York one year.

  10. Love the pics!! What an idyllic place to grow up and spend a summer. And a little Ella at the end, could't be more perfect! Love it, Erin

    1. I never really thought much of it as a kid, it was just the way it was. In retrospect, we had a blast and I realize how lucky I am. We worked hard but played hard too LOL
      Who can resist Ella?

  11. uh oh....nerdgasm alert!! LOL

    boy, we sure did have some awesome summers. I barely remember that sometimes we worked liked dogs all seemed like such fun back then.

    but the Ella and Louie make up for it. I cannot wait for homemade wildberry pie!! I do believe mom just helped Barb put the dock in the water...road trip and surprise visit? :)

    1. Oh, I remember the hard work, lots and lots, a never ending list of chores. LOL I can not deny it was an equal if not greater amount of fun too.
      I just used the Saskatoon berries Barb gave me. How have I never tasted these before? Serioulsy see if she'll make you a pie with those and rhubarb. Awesome.
      Can't wait for a trip home.

  12. Paul, I love all your pics of summers gone by. Looks so, so fun, even with the hard work!!!


Thanks for your comment, I hope you enjoyed your time in the "Kitchen".