By Leon Archer
Working outside on really hot muggy days was never my favorite thing to do, but I put a fair amount of time into it when I was younger.
Once I became a teenager, I began to realize that this world runs on money, a lot more money than I could come up with by selling night crawlers and begging from my parents.
I mowed lawns in the summer, and power mowers were not an everyday item in those days. I used the mowers that belonged to the lawn owners, and most of those monsters (the machines) were the old push, reel cutter type. I really prized those customers that owned a power push mover!
For a couple years I helped farmers with haying, which paid halfway decently, but could be brutal on days when haying was best. By the time I was 15, my father had finally purchased a power mower for cutting our yard, and I was allowed to use it on the lawns I was still cutting.
After the years of struggling with the manual machines, lawn mowing became a breeze, but when I was 16, I began painting houses with my father. I got to be pretty good at it, and soon I gave up doing lawns, because painting with my father paid much better than mowing.
Painting could still be hot work, but the effort level was several degrees lower.
During the days of my youth, I was usually able to avoid working on the very hottest days by going swimming in Little Sandy Creek, or on occasion, Lake Ontario.
Other days that I had off I would go fishing, and sometimes I would take a dip – even on purpose. I learned to prize beach weather instead of just sweltering through it.
I have to admit that I swim less now than I used to, and the only dip I have taken recently was at Thirty Island Lake, when I flipped the kayak getting into it. When I am in the water on purpose, I walk and puddle around more than swim, but the cooling effect is the same.
We made another journey to Thirty Island Lake last weekend, and went out fishing with the pontoon boat. Sweet Thing and daughter-in-law, Alicia, sat under the bimini in the shade and read while Nathaniel and Annaliese joined Tim and I fishing.
The fish were biting, but before long the kids and Alicia were swimming around the boat while Tim and I just kept fishing, and Sweet Thing took a nap. None of it seemed to bother the fish at all as we kept pulling them in.
I think if I had been wearing my swimming trunks, I would have joined the others in the water. (Next time!) The little lake is already warm enough to be swimming in, yet cool enough to be refreshing – the perfect combination.
I suspect that Fair Haven Park will be filled to overflowing with beach worshippers and picnic lovers this weekend. Aren’t you glad that our forefathers had the good sense to declare Independence on the Fourth of July instead of Feb. 13?
We can all use a little freedom in weather like this.
This is also perfect weather for off shore fishing in Lake Ontario. It’s always a bit cooler out there, and there is usually at least a slight breeze.
Trolling for trout and salmon is very relaxing. If it wasn’t for a fish striking now and then, one could fall asleep with the gentle rocking of the boat.
Beach weather is great weather for Lake Ontario bass fishing as well, and one does not have to venture as far off shore. Bass fishing often requires a bit more activity than trolling off shore for salmon and trout, but boy, are they fun to catch.
So instead of grumbling about the heat, get out and enjoy the beach and the water. Get a little sand between your toes and have a hot dog fresh off the grill. Just be thankful for your freedom, and enjoy the beach weather.
By the way, we caught (and ate) some Thirty Island bass last weekend.