Ice is out, spring comes early

Ice out of Sylvan Lake April 15, historian notes it is earliest recorded date in history

By Treena Mielke

News flashes are ongoing. They are here, there and everywhere.

The price of oil remains a slippery slope of uncertainty.

A police investigation is underway after a passenger plane approaching Heathrow Airport flew into what is believed to have been a drone.

Understandably, both those news flashes are cause for concern.

And so it goes.

News on a global scale is keeping print media, broadcast media and social media alive and well.

But here at home, in good old central Alberta, the land where wild roses go crazy in the spring, coloring roadside ditches with their shy pink blooms, there is also a news flash.

As of April 15, the ice went out in Sylvan Lake. And, according to records checked by historian Michael Dawe, it’s the earliest ever that has happened.

I believe that particular news flash, was like a pebble dropped into the lake before it gets interrupted with boat waves. It caused a ripple effect, as locals and lake visitors alike peered into the past trying to bring to recall their own memories of the lake, almost washed away by the sands of time.

I flip back over my own memories, trying to clamp down a time, a date, and a story to go with it, but I come to the sad realization, I don’t remember dates, only moments.

I remember one such moment.

I, an ill kept little kid with messy brown hair and bare feet, am perched in the front seat of an old ’49 Pontiac.

My dad is in the driver’s seat and our dog, a non-descript breed of nuisance, is in the back.

Suddenly without warning, there it is. A huge expanse of liquid blue, shimmering in the sunlight.

A few miles later, we were there.

Being at the lake seemed like a different world.

I remember the sun, warm on my hair, the hot, dry feel of sand between my toes and the creamy cool taste of ice cream, soft on my tongue.

I remember my dad saying the ice didn’t melt in Sylvan Lake. It only sank.

My dad was smart and knew about such things.

I didn’t question him, I simply believed him.

I still remember the painful splash of the icy water on my poor tummy as I tried, unsuccessfully, to execute a graceful dive off the wooden pier.

I believe the common term for that particular dive was and probably still is, a belly flop.

Fast forward about 15 years. Sitting in a ‘70 something red Volkswagen, my husband in the driver’s seat, three kids in the back. We crest a hill on Hwy. 11 and there it is, the same huge expanse of liquid blue, shimmering in the sunlight.

I remember ice cream and sticky fingers. Excited shrieks and laughter. Sand pails and castles. And me, always in the background, admonishing the kids gently and then not so gently when they became tiny specks in the water, “don’t go out too far. Stay where I can see you.”

They did, of course, go out too far. They grew up. And, always, they went out too far, to places far away and unknown to me.

But, always, thankfully they came back.

And so the summers came and the summers went.

Waterskiing and hamburgers. Sunscreen and sandscastles.

Footprints in the sand.

And as the ever-changing tides of time keep on, keeping on, I learn nothing is as permanent as change.

But still, some things never change.

Sitting on the beach and savoring the taste of ice cream will remain now and forever a delicious waste of time.

The hot, dry feel of sand between your toes remains endlessly cool.

Watching the way the sun splinters into a million shards of light when it is reflected off the water remains a timeless wonder.

And hearing the echo of a child’s laughter bouncing back over the waves is a lifetime guarantee that happiness can be contagious.

Does it get any better?

I don’t think so!

 

Just Posted

Influenza hits hard in Alberta

Flu season hits hard

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ice fishing enjoyed by all

Crestomere 4-H members enjoy ice fishing

Major announcement planned for Tuesday at Westerner Park

Hopes are that the CFR will be relocating to Red Deer

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read