McGregor Says: The plastic oasis in the backyard

It was a hot afternoon and I was headed out to a shady spot in the backyard with my ice tea and a new Stephen King novel. A bit of a breeze was teasing the wind chimes and they seemed to be tinkling the same tune as the ice cubes in my glass. Summer music for a sunny afternoon.

A different type of summer music was playing on the other side of the fence as a group of small children was let loose to attack the freshly filled wading pool.

There were shouts and boasts from the boys and giggles and squeals from the little girls and the occasional scream with a pitch high enough to break a pane of glass.

The moms were close by and reciting from a script that was written generations ago: “You boys be careful of the little kids.” “Stop throwing water on your sister.” “Either stay in or get out, you are bringing grass and dirt into the pool.”

As far as the kids were concerned, those words were carried away on that soft summer breeze and they never heard a thing. They had discovered a plastic backyard oasis on a hot afternoon and they were acting no different than any other feral children discovering a watering hole in the desert.

No doubt dad could have negotiated a loan, brought in contractors and back hoes and put in an in-ground pool with concrete aprons and a diving board, but I doubt if those kids would have any more fun than they were having that afternoon.

My mind wandered back about 20 years to that same backyard on another July afternoon. My eight-year-old son and his friend were in the same type of plastic pool, with a sprinkler spinning and splashing them with ice cold water.

I headed to my comfortable hammock with a book and a glass of beer and got everything positioned just right. As I laid back, one of the ropes, the victim of exposure to many sunny summer days, broke and I crashed to the ground.

I landed on a tree root and knocked the wind out of myself.

Shocked and in pain, unable to breathe and covered with beer, I rolled on to my side to try catch my breath. It was then I saw two eight-year-old boys, looking at me, on their knees laughing uncontrollably and pointing,

Later, sore but dry, I asked my son what they would have done if I had been really hurt. He said, “After we quit laughing we would have called someone.” All these years later, my son will tell you one of his fondest summer memories was the day dad fell out of the hammock.

Take a minute to remember running through the sprinkler, splashing in and out of a backyard pool or shivering under a towel while sucking on a grape Popsicle. It will cool you off.

At least that’s what McGregor says.


Just Posted

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

Langley creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Grass fire closes Mufford overpass to traffic

Township fire crews using ladder truck to battle blaze

Chilliwack gymnast to compete in Pan American Championships

Canadian national teamer Zachary Clay travels to Peru in September for international competition.

Trinity Western University changes controversial covenant

Pledge forbidding sexual intimacy outside of marriage optional, but only for students

Pitt Meadows airport manager resigns

Guy Miller was just two months on the job

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Most Read