Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day 2009

It's Canada's 142nd birthday. I can't take credit for this photo. I found it here

I wanted something a little different and this picture reminds me of the lifeguard house at the eastern beach on Lake Ontario in Toronto. A place I spent so many summers as a kid. Back when you could swim and not worry about pollution warnings. Oh, does that ever age me !

Amazing days, when kids could take off to the beach, without adult supervision. Then they built the swimming pool and we went back and forth from the pool to the beach all day, no adults, except the lifeguards, who were mostly university students. I use to come home with some whopper sunburns. One so bad that I still have a white patch of scar tissue on the back of my neck from it.
I know I would never had allowed my ten year old to wander about like that with a five year old sibling in tow. And he would have been wearing a ton of sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses. Well those were different times .When people believed sun was good for you ( making a comeback ?) and you could trust people. It would never have occurred to my mother that somebody would abduct us, yet we were under strict orders to never, ever, speak to strangers.

Growing up some people admire police, others firefighters . Me, it use to be lifeguards. They were role models and I thought them to be the coolest people on earth. They use to sit up in their towers yelling out from mega phones "no running","walk, I said WALK !"
" CAN YOU HEAR ?"" I SAID WALK!!!" Then there were the guards who patrolled the pool edge making sure there was no pushing , no gum chewing, checking to see if you had a shower after using the bathroom and making sure you weren't bringing in any contraband, like food .

Any infractions and you got a warning. If you disobeyed it was a time out, or worse, expulsion. Everybody obeyed the rules, because getting kicked out would ruin the day. No place else to go except the park, which was too hot, or worse still, home ! Home meant having to "help around the house, since you have nothing else to do".

On the beach you had not only the lifeguards in even higher towers, their were ones in row boats who would go back and forth patrolling the various clusters of people swimming in the lake. The guard house was further east That's where they would check in . I use to think it a sweet job. That is until I saw them have to rescue drowning people and realized it really was a serious occupation. Never did become a lifeguard, although I did keep swimming. Still do.

Not much going on today except a barbecue later on . I still feel pretty crummy.

Everybody have great holiday !


Cranky said...

Carole - thanks for the reminiscence. I am 53, so know what you mean about the freedoms for kids when we were young compared to now. No bike helmets, lots of unsupervised time, etc.

Nice to have a day off mid-week. We in the US have the holiday (for most) on Friday.

Taxingwoman said...

Hi! Cranky Enjoy your holiday

Diane J Standiford said...

Oh, Canada! Enjoy! (Both of you, eh?)