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Safety first this weekend

by CAM TAIT

The May long weekend is here!

The May long weekend is here!

The … well, you can fill in the rest.

Every weekend is special in its own unique way. But this long weekend is a personal favourite because it’s the unofficial start to summer.

It’s when we load up the vehicle and head out to open up the cabin for the first time.

Our family did that for years. Dad packed our 1968 red Plymouth, complete with a car-top carrier, for the five-hour drive from Edmonton to beautiful downtown Meota, Sask., — a cup of coffee ride north of North Battleford.

Who can ever forget the stale musky smell of a cabin that has been couped up over the winter?

We always got to the cabin when it was dark, and needed to be reminded to open and close the door as fast as possible.

Ah, those insects. They gathered around the light above the door and were set to come inside the cabin for a midnight snack.

They were never invited, of course.

Then, it was time to get some sleep because Saturday was always a busy day.

Mom got up early and went to the general store for groceries for breakfast and the rest of the weekend.

My sister, brother and I were eager to get down to the beach.

Meota rests on the southwest shore of Jackfish Lake.

We were always anxious to see if the lake was up or down after the winter.

Saturday was a day to do work on the lawnmower, the boat, the motor and other mechanical devices.

This is my point of today’s effort.

I want to really encourage everyone to remember one important thing as we throw out this summer’s first pitch.

Safety first, friends.

I’m not afraid to reveal my age: when Dad and brother Brad were getting things ready, they didn’t have cellphones ringing every minute. In fact, we didn’t have a telephone at the cabin — a landline, at that — until 1989.

Things are different now.

And, it can be easy to feel rushed to answer a call or a text. I get that. I experience the same feeling myself at times.

Perhaps, then, the door is left open just a sliver enough so a screw isn’t tightened enough, or the proper amount of grease isn’t smeared, or …

We don’t want to even imagine what could happen.

The May long weekend is also the time we go for the first cruise in the boat, the first time we take the ATV out to get some wood at the very back of the property line, and the first time we rev up the motorbike.

There’s a lot of summer ahead of us to enjoy the spectacular sunrises and sunsets only produced by the prairies.

Let’s all enjoy them.

Let’s be as careful as we can this weekend to ensure, for decades to come, we can stay those five words with unlimited enthusiasm.

The May long weekend is here.

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Summary

Author

ctait@edmontonoilers.com
Follower of Christ, husband, father, grandfather, Edmonton Sun columnist, Oiler Entertainment Group writer, co-author of Disabled? Hell No! I’m a Sit-Down Comic, speaker, comedian, former Edmonton Journal columnist, member of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and closet Beverly Hillbillies mega fan and (very small) closet disco singer.

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