We anticipate the arrival of summer, often wondering what sort of weather it will present us with. After a cold dark winter, we look forward to some heat and sunshine. We also watch our flowers as they begin to bloom with all the amazing colour nature offers us. We are ready to do lots of barbecuing. Sometimes we are disappointed with the weather we are presented. Other times we glory in it. From May to October, June is the only month without a long weekend. Canadians live for long weekends in the summer.

For students and teachers and all those connected with schools, June was a busy month. It’s usually time for Track and Field Days and the hopes of gaining a spot on the school track and field team and getting to go with the team to compete against other schools. Back at school there is usually a Play Day when all the students compete at a variety of activities hoping to win a ribbon. Meanwhile, teachers are busy giving test in certain grades and preparing report card. And if it’s a hot June teachers are seeking ways to keep the students cool. When I was teaching, lots of teachers took fans to use in their classrooms. If the library happened to be air conditioned, as much use as possible was made of it. Students were excited. As the last day of school approaches, the excitement rises. Then that moment when summer freedom begins arrives.

Summer is popular for weddings. Brides and grooms and their families are all hoping for beautiful weather, especially if an outdoor wedding is planned. I heard a cute wedding story. A little girl was taken to a wedding. She watched as the bride in white was walked down the aisle to the altar. She asked her mother why the bride wore white. Her mother told her that it was a colour used to show how happy she was. Then the little girl turned to her mother and asked why the groom was wearing black.

June was Father’s Day, which often signals the beginning of summer for me. For those who are lucky enough to still have a living father, it’s a chance to celebrate. For those of us who don’t have a living father, it’s a chance to reminisce. My Dad died on Friday, April 13, 1984. That’s a long time ago. He was a smoker who died of emphysema. We spent lots of time trying to get him to quit smoking but he grew up at a time when smoking was expected. When he was in the British Merchant Navy, they were given cigarettes. It’s too bad because he missed a lot. As the father of two daughters, we knew we were loved. When he was presented with three grandsons he was delighted. It’s too bad he had so little time with them. Two of them were seven and the third one was five when he died. He didn’t see them grow up to be fine young men. He missed seeing three great grandsons and a granddaughter.

Richard Tecwyn Hughes was born in Holyhead North Wales. During WW2 he joined the merchant navy. Somehow, at the end of the war he met Mollie in Middlesbrough in Yorkshire and they married in 1945. In April 1956 he set forth for Canada. He got a job right away. He found an apartment and furnished it. The rest of us joined him in September 1956. In 1960 we bought our first house in Whitby and then our next one in 1966.

Not long after we moved to Canada we took up camping. Putting up the tent must have been something totally new to Dad. He learned how to do it and we sent a lot of happy summer camping.

Like a lot of the Welsh, he had a wonderful singing voice. He spent many years in the church choir and the County Town Singers. He used to sing as he did dishes and things like that. He also cooked a great Sunday breakfast. We had bacon, sausage, eggs, fried potatoes and fried tomatoes.

He was a quiet man with a wonderful dry sense of humour. He left us the way he lived. He died quietly in his sleep. I hope he is in heaven watching my son and nephews and their sons, some of who enjoy his sense of humour.

He loved and was loved by his family. I miss him again this summer.

About the Author

Linda Calder is a retired teacher. She likes to write and enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys going on cruises, taking pictures and scrapbooking.