By Stephanie Martin
We are entering another new season as the clocks spring ahead and we hit the ground running! (Of course after the initial shock/adjustment of the hour change). Hockey is still going strong for many, (the seemingly never ending season) and St Paddys Day has come and gone and on a Friday this year to boot! I think you could hear a collective “brace yourself!” Police were on double duty and the bars were just a hoppin! Yep and that’s how it played out from all counts I heard and experienced. I played at the Boar’s Head Pub in Stratford and when I arrived I could barely get into the pub at 7 pm due to the people who appeared to have been there and socializing on this “big Irish holiday” since they were sprung from work at the “top of the day”. Ok, so I wonder how many are actually Irish? I had one person raise their hand and explain they were from somewhere other than Ireland, but we handed out the prizes we had brought for people having the closest answers or best answers to our Irish skill testing questions! My oldest son Dustin accompanied me that night and no words needed to be spoken, we just cranked it up and came roaring straight out of the box with our 3rd set songs first! Dustin hit the box drum to accompany me and get the crowd moving and kept them on high level energy right through to the end of the night! We had to remain super aware of dance floor enthusiasts who would jig a bit too close to my mic stand in our little entertainment corner, but old life skills reminded me to be aware and keep out of the way of the potential mic in the mouth! On Dustin’s side it was the mic swinging away issue when people walking by would catch it. No stage and small quarters is always more like performing in an obstacle course but to me that just makes it all the more challenging and keeps me on my toes! I’m sure law enforcement is happy that St Paddys isn’t always on a Friday! I haven’t been out on one for years but being booked brought me out and reminded me of days gone by when the excitement of green beer and shamrocks brought the masses out of their homes , even on weekday evenings. Something that I’m thinking ended around the time I had kids and we just skipped that and waited patiently for the Easter Bunny instead (a much more tame holiday!)
Regardless they all arrive with the promise of spring in the air and the light of day lasting much longer and hockey (possibly) winding down! Max (who is in Bantam AE this year) found another tournament in Aylmer this past weekend and the BBs just keep on going this year! And then you’d almost think things are going to slow down post hockey but no…. I know the double time of summer will be upon us, when days get longer and we Canadians feel we need to pack everything in that we could not do in the throes of winter! We do everything outside that we possibly can during our warmer months. The hockey bags drop (or ringette or figure skating) and the soccer and baseball and beach and hiking and camping and bbqing season begins! I do not think I am the only one who starts vividly imagining the warmer season around mid-February and then getting desperate for it when more snow arrives in March. And it ain’t over until it’s over and every year it’s consistent in it’s wonderfully welcome arrival of spring and heart wrenching departure in the fall.
I like the seasons, however, winter could be about 3 weeks and then gone and I’d be good with that! And soon Summer will arrive! I ordered and received the free park pass for day tripping into Canadian Parks, we don’t have many close by but they were free for the ordering and I would like to make it a goal to get to a few this summer! And besides they are cards of summer and it’s always good to have a few good cards in your hands! But I guess this is something that can be enjoyed in the colder temperatures as I have been seeing pictures of people’s winter camping events which I am in awe of! The bravery and the commitment to enjoy our Canadian weather! Someday maybe I will become more “at one” with the winter? I did more walking this year in the snow and it was not as bad as I anticipated and was even quite beautiful. And since I became a bit more Irish after my last gig who knows what could be in store next! The sky is the limit for new adventures and experiences, (especially with warmer weather on the horizon) and as I was told recently by a friend “the potential outcomes are infinite” So while I await the warmer weather I will just let this keep rolling through my spring loaded mind!