Pam Pardy-Ghent: A Labour of Love

It’s almost heartbreaking to see this summer end come Labour Day. Some of the reasons I’d love it to linger has to do with the weather. 

As the week before the last long weekend edges closer, the temps are still in the mid to high 20s and the mugginess mingled with thoughts of milking the last bits of joy out of warm, long, peaceful evenings has so many of us going without much sleep. But it’s all good. Coffee helps, of course. So does the realization of what’s to come in the not too distant future. Like the bears, there’ll be loads of time for rest come those cold winter Newfoundland nights.

Family & Fun

For us, this summer has been about family and fun. It’s been camping with my daughter, my niece and their friends. It’s been about babies and walks and swimming in a pond. It’s kayaks and tubes and pails and shovels. It’s pricklies in a glass jar. It’s food, fire, friends, and – yes – a bit of booze when the time is right. It’s basically been what a Newfoundland summer is supposed to be. 

But it’s also been about a much-overdue visit to my sister and her children in Ontario and about just being together. This summer I’ve had more fun picking tomatoes and raspberries in my sister’s garden and sharing them with my nephew than I ever had going to an up-along amusement park. 

Money can’t buy happiness, we’ve all heard that line, but this summer that saying rang so true. Walks, talks, rocking babies to sleep, (and rocking the buggers back to sleep) and hair braiding on a back yard lounge chair filled our hearts with joy. My sister and I and our children did so much ‘nothing’ together that even the simple act of boiling an egg became a sad, solitary affair once we flew back home. She texted me recently; I haven’t been able to eat an egg since you left. The thought of having one without you makes me sad. Now that’s love! 

Blessing And A Curse

Seeing this summer end, I can honestly say it’s both a blessing and a curse. Of course it’s grand to get back to so-called normal life. Life at the camper isn’t always a picnic when you have to get ready to go to work and your outfits are piled on top of one another. Half the time your best shoes have been either carried off by a neighbour’s dog or are wet because they were worn in the brook or toasted by the campfire because one of the youngsters could only find one flipflop. 

My hair hasn’t been done properly in weeks and my only hope as I head out for the office each morning is that I remembered drawers and deodorant. If I did, that’s a win!

So, summer 2018, you’ve been kind. You’ve taught me about love. You showed me that valuing the little things is truly the big thing that make this life the sweetest it can be. You gave me the opportunity to share, care, laugh, and love with everything I have – and to not sweat the small stuff. Dry shoes are for divas. Clothes without a scatter flanker burn is hardly worth wearing. 

Do I want this summer to end? No really. But as Labour Day rolls around, I’ll try to embrace the end of one good thing knowing that the lessons I’ve learned can truly be carried on into any time of the year, if I make that choice a labour of love.

Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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