penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.

We’re having a heat wave…

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This week has been unbearably hot.  As the mercury edged up with each passing day and eventually passed 40 Celsius (with the wind chill), I’ve grown increasingly sweaty and grouchy.  Unfortunately the heat wave has coincided with my week off with the kids – and while I am aware that I should be grateful to have a precious week off, part of me is missing having access to sanity saving air conditioning during the day at work and at day care.   It’s unfortunate too because I had planned to do a bunch of outdoor “run around and get exhausted” type activities. With the heat, I’m finding just swimming through the humidity is sapping a lot of energy I’d like to reserve for the kids.

The kids have been a bit unhappy with the situation as well – they had hoped to get outside and explore the great outdoors our town has to offer. Usually they love museums, but by the second full day of looking at “dusty old stuff” they were looking for something different.

So, I did what I always do when I am stumped – I turned to the Interwebs to see if anyone else had any bright ideas on how to stay cool.  A lot of them involved libraries (which we also love) and shopping malls (which only my tweenager daughter loves).  But skating was also suggested – and something I have been wanting to cross off my summer bucket list for a couple of years.

And so the hunt was on to find a patch of ice in the middle of a heat wave.

Looking at the city’s web site I managed to find the one arena open in the middle of summer.  Luckily it also had a public swimming pool where we could continue to keep our cool after our brush with winter.

It was a bit of a drive out to the other side of town, but I thought it would make for a good day long adventure. I had to pack skates, helmets, winter clothes and mittens as well as swimsuits and towels.  I looked like a city Sherpa by the time we were all packed.

We arrived at the arena after several rounds of the “are we there yet?” backseat chorus.  We had to haul all the equipment across the black pavement you could fry and egg on (I think I could hear my toes sizzling).  As soon as we entered the building though, the temperature dropped to something approaching human.  My kids also immediately noted that the same community centre also housed a library. Hallelujah, I thought. This makes our trip trifecta complete.

The lady at the front desk clearly thought I was a lunatic asking about both the skating and the swimming schedules, but duly sold us our package passage to the eternal winter and forever summer.

We headed over to the arena first. The windows were dripping with condensation and the effort of keeping a grip on the cold.  The doors opened and it was like a breath of fresh air (with a touch of Zamboni).  We changed into our winter gear and skates.  The kids were vibrating with excitement.  Then the moment came when our blades touched the ice and we pushed off, gliding.

It was like magic.  After all the heat of the week, I felt light headed.  The entire hour I could feel my internal thermometer rearranging itself, as my body thirstily drank in the cool.  I soon had a silly grin on my face, as I caught my youngest son over and over as he tripped and fell, and fell again.  By the end of the hour though, he was already finding his feet and racing my daughter from one end of the rink to the other, while my middle son kept circling and circling (and trying to gather up enough snow to make a snow ball).

I don’t remember an hour in winter ever passing so quickly as that moment in summer frostiness did.  But I’m hoping that the memory will help me keep my cool for the rest of the week.

Now, what to do tomorrow…



Written by pennyinacastle

August 20, 2015 at 1:19 am

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