Diary, Prince Edward Island

So Damn Sweet

It’s a hot day in Charlottetown. With the humidity they are saying 37 degrees. A lazy, lovely day. But we all know: a storm is coming. Hurricane Earl. When I got to the end of Pownal Street around 8 am this morning, I saw a dozen boats parked already in the lot beside the yacht club on their trailors. And all day, from my office window, I could see them raising the boats with cranes, taking them out of the water. At lunch, we watched them up close from the deck at The Treehouse. Lunch out because it was the last day for the summer student and last day of summer someone said. We enjoyed our meal, sitting outside with sunglasses on. Behind the cash I noticed this message on the chalkboard: Summer isn’t over until we say it is – The Management. Later, before I left the office, I checked the windows in the stairwell and the cafeteria — can’t leave an opening when the deluge comes tomorrow. Walking, I saw the sandbags by the Delta parking garage and remembered: Yes, it usually floods — I watched them sandbaging the driveway to underground parking a couple of years ago. Sandbags by the Merchantman doorway too. And everywhere downtown, the corner gardens flourishing – impatiens, geraniums, marigolds, coleus, petunias, alyssum. Hard to believe those crazy winds and buckets of rain are coming on a warm, sunny day like today. On Grafton, boys were playing street hockey in some kind of tournament and the road was blocked off. People on the sidewalk strolled by eating ice cream. I looked at the Spider lilies, spectacular outside the TD bank on Kent Street and wondered what they would look like by tomorrow evening. Does knowing everything is about to change make the enjoyment of it now, sweeter? I don’t know. It pretty much always is so damn sweet. Summer isn’t over ’till I say it is. The storm will come — blow and bluster — and things will change, transform, as they always do. I have spare water, a full tank of gas in my car, and cash from the ATM, just as the emergency gurus advise. I will bring in my hanging basket of flowers, stack my deck chairs, move my car away from the American Beech tree in the backyard. What else to do? Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy — this beauty, this languid summer day. This moment in time. This life. This calm. And this storm.

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