May Two-Four bound: Summer starts now, parkas are optional

The Vacation Hat in action.

Let me begin this story with some key background: I grew up in Sauble Beach. When I was just five years old, my parents decided to leave behind the city life, for a permanent residence in this popular Lake Huron vacation town. I am thankful every day for their foresight, their bravery and their insanity. I am not sure who moves two young kids to a small town with few year-round jobs and no solid plan, but it was the 70’s. We had a custom van with our picture airbrushed on the side, orange shag interior carpet and a 12-inch black and white TV. What more does anyone really need?

This is where it all began: This distraction, this obsession, this fixation with the May Two-Four long weekend. You see, at this very moment, I have a to-do list as long as my arm—and while it’s very possible that some of the folks reading this right now are waiting on material from me at this very second—I am here to tell you that none of it is going to get done. It’s almost 2 p.m. and my brain has officially checked out.

Perhaps announcing that isn’t the smartest move, but I feel the need to explain and I’m positive that several of you reading are totally hearing me right now. When you grow up in a resort town, your entire world revolves around the changing seasons. Growing up in Sauble Beach, the May Two-Four weekend was the single most important weekend of the year. Forget Christmas, this one weekend meant our social lives would resume, we’d see our summer friends again and we might even start our summer jobs. Also key, we’d be able to get Mar’s Cosmic Fries and Dairy Queen (it’s a long 8 months without staples like these). Truth be told, those were the highlights 20 years ago and not much has changed since then.

It’s the Friday afternoon before the long weekend and yes, I’m a ‘grown-up’, but honestly, the only thing I can think about is packing the car, hitting The Beer Store and pinning it for Sauble Beach. By tonight, we’ll be huddled around a campfire, telling stories from 20 years ago, and thanking our lucky stars that we survived one of the craziest winters ever.

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I heard there were flurries in Sauble this morning. I’m not surprised; I’m not even disappointed. My husband has this straw vacation hat that he wears every time we officially ‘check out’ of the real world. As I blow off the rest of today, I’ll be happily packing that hat, along with our warmest sleeping bags, some down-filled coats for the fireside and some hooch for cottage coffee. The first official weekend of summer is here. It has nothing to do with warm temperatures, it has nothing to do with queens or birthdays; it has everything to do with good friends and good times.

Personally, I’m just glad the roads are open. Stay safe and have a blast.

Let your May Two-Four begin.