If your home happens to be in the desert then may I suggest that you buy sunglasses, deodorant and a t-shirt that reads: Albino, free-zone.

Some people go on and on about this thing or that thing. There’s and old cowboy saying: “Some folks would bitch if they were hung with a used rope.”

I love this time of year, life slows down and it’s a good excuse to rest under the shade of an old tree. The shores come alive with children playing and couples holding hands as they stroll along the water’s edge. The smell of barbeques waft through the evening air as you sit on your porch with a tall cold one.

Damned, life is good in the Okanagan valley.

Summer is also a time for families to rekindle their ties. People pack up their cares and woes and drive so that they may share them with their relatives – sometimes for weeks on end.

Some kids visit their adoring grandparents while at the same time other grandparents are heading for the hills to avoid becoming summertime babysitters.

As the temperature rises everything begins to change, from the foods we eat to the clothes on our backs; or should I say the lack there of?

One old boy, Jack, who is 92 years old, once said to me: “The young girls begin to shed.”

I’m sure there is an old uptight, stuck up moral cop who might say that Jack is just a dirty old man. As for myself, Jack’s words give me hope, just knowing that when I reach the autumn of my life I’ll still appreciate beauty and forever be a boy of summer.

People from all across this great land have landed here for one reason or another, but the main reason is because of our cozy climate.

Back east it’s not only as hot as hell it’s as humid as a hairy armpit. The flat-landers (prairies) come here for the mountain’s majesty and stay for the mild winters. If you still have any doubts that you’re not in the land of milk and sunny – just ask any one of our many, many Albertans.

Every year my wife and I take a holiday, and for the last few years we’ve stayed close to home, and so did our money. Have you ever been to Nakusp? How about the Cariboo or the Kootenay area? Even closer to home you’ll find gold in Hedley, wine in Oliver and history at the O’Keefe ranch near Vernon.

So instead of sitting on your wallet and complaining about the weather – get off your assets and discover your own backyard. After all, a million Albertans can’t all be wrong.


Bernie Bates is a writer and an artist Email him at: