Most holiday weekends we spend on Pelee Island. This past Canada Day was no exception. We wouldn’t think of missing the annual parade and fireworks. We even took in a concert at the Winery, supporting this year’s 3rd annual Island Unplugged Music Festival. It was a jam-packed weekend of activity, by Pelee standards. Or so we thought.
We found a spot and lined up our chairs on West Shore Road sometime before the parade start at one o’clock, our usual spot for viewing the eclectic mix of Island floats and smiling participants. First Responders typically start the parade off, followed by the marching band from Kingsville. The Mayor, the Shriners, the Winery Workers and my personal favourite, Herb Feltz’s Cast Iron Tractor Seat Collection, all follow. As we watch, we prepare to be pelted with the flying candy that is thrown from most passing floats and welcome the occasional water gun aimed in our direction in the heat of the mid-day sun.
Not everyone would be impressed I know. We’re all different in what touches or impresses us. Personally, (as the song goes) I love a parade, the more small-town-Ontario, the better. And when that parade day is capped off by fireworks, my holiday check list is complete. Perhaps, my daughter Megan and I thought, we could fit in a bike ride to the beach sometime in between, a perfect trifecta.
Lying on my beach towel reading my book, I looked up to watch Megan wading in Lake Erie. I looked around happily at my surroundings; fluffy white clouds hung low on blue backdrop, lake water twinkling under big bright sun and a group of nearby individuals frolicking in sand and surf. One of them I noticed was changing out of his wet bathing suit up against the rocks. Bare bum in my sight, I turned quickly back to my book…but not too quickly…Well, that wasn’t what I expected to see!
Later that night, wrapped in blankets, swatting at bugs, we watched the fireworks display. Not bad, I’ve always thought, for a small community like Pelee. When the fireworks ended we returned hastily to our car, in an attempt to avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes, but not before a passerby approached us.
“Is that it?!” He asked, referencing we assumed, the length of the light show.
“Yup.” I responded, “It’s only ever 15 – 20 minutes long.”
He looked disappointed.
I thought back to the bare bum on the beach and realized – it’s all in how you look at it really……or don’t.