The Way I See it: Time to enjoy all of summer

Michele Blais extolls the virtues of summertime in the North Okanagan

The Caetani Cultural Centre in Vernon is a great place to enjoy an outdoor summer concert.

The Caetani Cultural Centre in Vernon is a great place to enjoy an outdoor summer concert.

Summer is such a great time for weddings, concerts, family reunions, quiet time to rejuvenate and exploring beautiful B.C.

I recently attended a summer wedding held outside the home of the happy couple and it was just so lovely. With the help of friends and family, the wedding went off without a hitch, well except for the couple getting hitched of course! The front lawn was transformed into a large dining area with a huge feast, and the guests dining at the round tables, and toasts made with their kids, the couple thanking all for their support and help with the day. The side yard became a dance floor where the band played, and the back yard with the amazing valley view was where the wedding ceremony took place. The guests ranged from babes to elders, and had come from near and far to share in this magical moment of a couple celebrating their love.

It was a beautiful ceremony, and wonderful to see this fantastic couple take their commitment to each other one major step further with their vows and signing the documents that make it all legal. I have known one of the grooms for 20 years and am so happy that he has great love, is a father with three amazing kids and has returned to Vernon so we can all share in their life together.

My concerts so far this summer have included Don Henley in Penticton which was fantastic, as we enjoyed his selection of songs from his 40-plus years as a very talented musician.

We also enjoyed an evening under the maple tree at the Caetani Cultural Centre when we attended the bluegrass evening which featured three great acts. It is such a great setting for concerts and I so appreciated sitting in the yard, enjoying the music with the wind blowing through the trees, and just being able to enjoy the experience with my darling and friends.

The Caetani Cultural Centre has been offering a series of arts events this summer and I really encourage you to check out the offerings, from the music on the lawn, to the writers’ workshops, new gallery, songwriting workshops and their upcoming Splash of Red fundraiser.

We spend a lot of time at our cottage on Okanagan Lake, so several times a week we drive the highway past Stickle Road, and the traffic light idea often pops into our conversations. We drive this road three to seven times a week for six months and I am so in support of a traffic light. If my crystal ball was working, I am sure it would show a light there sooner than later. In the meantime we will spend $9 million at least to extend the other option and I would be surprised if when it is all said and done it is isn’t over the expected budget. I was involved in an accident at that corner years ago when I was trying to make a left turn, fortunately it wasn’t disastrous,  but I do think about the potential for tragedy.

Three cheers to Coldstream for agreeing to have staff explore the idea of a rainbow crosswalk. A group of young people brought this forward and to me this reflects that our youth and young adults are far more accepting of each other. Every time I see a rainbow crosswalk, it makes me smile as to me it symbolizes hope and acceptance. Vernon, let’s follow suit.

While I am on the grandstand, I would really like to express my support of the pickleball courts. We spend a lot on youth activities and let us share the resources. There are so many health benefits for exercise for the age group (mine) that is predominantly enjoying this sport. More often in planning we should connect the dots between healthy living and reduced health care but because funding comes from different sources sometimes we miss that value.

We live in a beautiful place rich with outstanding natural vistas and settings. I hope that you take the time to explore this area and appreciate your wisdom for choosing the Okanagan as your home.

Michele Blais has worked with children and families in the North Okanagan for the past 29 years. She is a longtime columnist with The Morning Star, appearing every other Sunday.

 

 

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