The Ruttle Report - Man oh man, I'm already there

The long weekend is just days away, the anticipation is reaching a fever pitch.

It’s been an enjoyable summer.  Granted, a much more different one than usual considering what’s going on in the world right now, but one of my best qualities is the ability to adapt, so I’ve made the best of the situation.

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The days have been hot, the nights have been just right.  The odd rainy day here and there keeps things clean and green, just the right kind of balance you want out of a combined spring and summer season.  Farmers are happy, which means we’re all happy.

I look back on events that should have unfolded over the past few months and shake my head.  Damn virus.  No full-fledged Canada Day celebrations anywhere, no rodeo down in Elbow, no first-ever Potato Festival in Outlook, no Saskatoon Exhibition.  These are things that should have happened for people to enjoy.

But I smile because if there’s anything that this pandemic has taught us, it’s that you can’t keep peoples’ spirits down for long.  No Canada Day community bash?  Celebrate at home wearing some red and white and light some sparklers in your backyard.  No Potato Festival?  Cook up a meal of nothing but spuds and tag your local producers in a social media post.  No Saskatoon Ex?  Well, I guess you could fill your kids’ bellies full of junk food, grab them by the arms and whip them around in a makeshift “ride” until they get sick, simulating some small corner of the Exhibition grounds every August.

(nothing will replace the taste of those Spudnuts, though – can’t duplicate those)

No, we couldn’t do a lot of the things we all hoped to this summer, but we made it work one way or another.  Businesses have been there for us.  Those on the front lines of this thing – medical workers, emergency personnel, care aids, police, firefighters, media – have kept the people in good health, made safety a priority, and kept them informed of all the latest happenings.

I’ve managed to make the summer work for me, too.  I’m driving a lot, taking little road trips here and there.  I keep my new camera gear with me at all times because you never know when or where inspiration is going to strike.  I’ve been east, west, north and south, capturing this, that and anything else along the way.  I’ve enjoyed seeing new points around the province while at the same time respecting social distancing guidelines.  If I’m somewhere new and there are people around, I’m glopping on some hand sanitizer as soon as I’m back in my SUV.  Better safe than sorry, right?

I’ve enjoyed the summer, even if it’s been something of a modified one for all of us.  I guess in some ways, 2020 will be “The Year that Got Away”.  Still, I’m anticipating the Labor Day long weekend that’s arriving in just a few days, and I’m busy writing all my news articles and copy for the next edition of the paper so that I’m not worrying about it.

This is something I’ve been looking forward to since I made the reservation back in February.  Of course, things changed and scheduled changed in the time since, but now it’s really happening.

I’m headed up to Candle Lake to spend the long weekend at a cabin I booked.  It happens to be the same one in which my family spent Christmas two years ago.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

My friends are actually joining me for this trip.  I finally have a chance to show them the place that’s meant the world to me since I was a kid.  We’ll swim, we’ll fish, we’ll golf, we’ll hike, we’ll enjoy nightly bonfires, and we’ll enjoy each other’s company as we catch up and evaluate just what a crazy year it’s been for everyone in the midst of a formidable opponent in the virus.

Of course, what I’ve described here has yet to happen, and in the end, it may not unfold as I’ve written.  It’s true though, I have a cabin booked up at the lake for the Labor Day long weekend; my original trip itinerary called for the last weekend in May, but that sure wasn’t a smart idea to keep, was it?  Instead, I moved some things around and I’ve got it for the long weekend months later.  Hey, no one has any idea where this pandemic could be in three months and change, but for now, I’ve got a cabin at one of my favorite places on Earth.  Things can always be cancelled and refunded, but I hope that doesn’t end up being the case.

I hope my friends will still be able to join me, but again, that’s months down the road and anything can change in the meantime.  Still, I remain optimistic.

In my eyes, September can’t come soon enough.

For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.

© The Outlook

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