Island Life

Of summer and traditions….

waves_2012Ok, you all know I hate to say good-bye to the summer

I don’t pay much attention to official dates that mark either the beginning or the end. For me the beginning of summer is the first swim and the end of summer is the last swim.

I’d like to announce – according to my method of reckoning – summer was officially over one week ago today.

Last Sunday – Oct. 15 – I had my last swim. Was it cold? Yes, but it wasn’t too bad, considering it’s mid-Oct. Prince Edward Island is surrounded by a shallow shelf of rock, and so our water is the “warmest water north of Virginia” – according to Wikipedia. And, as my mother used to say, once you are numb, you don’t mind so much.
That article has not been contested …yet!

This swim is a tradition. It all began when my Mom and her best friend, both avid swimmers, braved the waters one unusually warm, Thanksgiving day – oh my! the bragging and the crowing over that swim!

Not to be outdone by my mother, I began the post Thanksgiving swim. Rinda, and her daughter Sarah, have joined me although Rinda usually wears a shorty wetsuit. I don’t think it’s cheating – she’s the long, thin type and doesn’t have the “natural” protection that I have 🙂

Ooooh! There is something energizing about the frigid cool water – it makes your body tingle all over! Even though my Mom has been in heaven for 15 years, I still grin up at her and feel a deep satisfaction when I beat the record! 🙂

cozy_web

With the last swim in, summer is really over – now it’s the time for cozy evenings by the fire just like this lovely little scene. I made Rinda take a picture so I could share it with you – and she obliged even though she was really hungry. Savoury roasted vegetable soup, toasted baguettes, ripe cantelope slices and hot tea – just perfect after such a “refreshing” dip!

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15 thoughts on “Of summer and traditions….

  1. JodyC says:

    Kathie,I love to swim and I especially like to swim in ponds or lakes (I’m a landlocked prairie savage). I remember viewing a picture of swimmers here on your blog and thinking how one day I would love to swim in that rocky coastline sea. Your Mother’s Thanksgiving Swim is quite a challenge! ~Jody

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  2. Islandsparrow says:

    Cathy – 78? That’s balmy!!! Our warmest water could hit the 80s – but only on the south side of the Island in the area where I live. Our North side never warms up more than 70. But lots of fun waves there.Roberta – What is a "calgon, take me away" post? I’ve never heard of that.

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  3. I had to remember through the comments that Thanksgiving in Canada is in October! We live 2 hours from the Gulf of Mexico. Today the sea water temperature is 78 degrees – so still comfortable to swim in – just cool to get out of! That’s the kicker!

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  4. Islandsparrow says:

    Yes Violet – we have had snow in Oct – it’s rare and it never stays. I porbably would not go in if there was snow – I wait for a warm day. And our water stays warmer much longer than the air, so it’s surprisingly not that bad. I went swimming in the Atlantic in August and it was SO much colder that any swim I’ve ever had here.

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  5. I’m shivering and my mouth is watering at once. What a fabulous tradition. It will be interesting to see if you still honor it the year you get snow in October — has that ever happened?

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  6. I wished yesterday I could dip into Lake Tahoe. My husband and I took a hike, but it was a really hot day! Tahoe is a shock for new swimmers. It is the largest alpine lake in the USA and is comprised much of glacial melt. I have to enter in increments. I have never been able to jump right in. Once in though, I don’t like to come out. Your cozy fireplace scene looks lovely. What a juxtaposition. Cold dip, warm fireplace.

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  7. The food by the fire looks so cozy and inviting! I loved this line "Even though my Mom has been in heaven for 15 years, I still grin up at her and feel a deep satisfaction when I beat the record!"Sounds awfully chilly, but I know it warms your heart!:-)

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  8. I loved this post even though I’m not a swimmer and am terrified of water! I liked the part by the cozy fire, delicious looking food, and a good friend sitting chatting with me. Can I join you? 🙂

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  9. What a fun tradition!! But too brrrr….for me!! LOLI hope you have a wonderful fall. The picture is beautiful and I’m looking foward to visiting you again. Thank you so much for the "sub" idea for Sunday dinner. I plan on doing that very soon!Kelli

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