Opinion Editorial

Look on the bright side

Here's a shocker: The long weekend forecast is predicting showers and clouds. With the exception of last weekend, this summer, so far, has been less than ideal. It feels like it has rained, albeit some times very minimally, almost every day. The threat hovers almost constantly.

It brings to mind a conversation recently overheard at a coffee shop where a person asked the owner of a small construction company how he was coping with the persistent wet weather. "I went out and bought 20 rain suits," he said. "It was the best investment I've ever made."

That kind of attitude is what's needed this summer. You can complain and whine about the gray skies, the seemingly consistent threat of thunderstorms and the presence of puddles, or you can find a way to make the best of things. Because here's the other shocker: Summer is half over!

So, if you don't like dodging rain drops and fear being caught in a deluge, buy a rain suit and keep an umbrella handy. But don't let the forecast, which is often wrong anyway, keep you from enjoying summer in one of the nicest places on the planet.

This weekend is a perfect time to get your feet wet, so to speak. The annual Rotary-Lions Funfest is underway all weekend at Couchiching Beach Park where midway rides, games of chance, vendors and food are on the menu.

On Saturday, the city's fabled bandstand, a stately Victorian Era throwback that has been lovingly restored, will once again resonate with the sound of music at the park on the shore of Lake Couchiching. On Sunday night, just down the shore, the Aqua Theatre will resonate with the sound of big-band music in what has become a much-loved rite of summer for residents and visitors alike.

If you have kids, the Leacock Museum will be a fun place to visit Saturday as the annual Children's Literacy Day takes centre stage at the one-time summer retreat of Stephen Leacock. This year's event celebrates the 60th anniversary of Scholastic Books and to pay homage to those kids' favourites, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Captain Underpants and Geronimo Stilton will be celebrated through activities and games. For example, at the Captain Underpants station, kids can play toilet-bowl lacrosse using plungers. How could you go wrong?

For those who prefer the outdoors in a more peaceful setting, Grant's Woods is always a favourite destination. Right now, the Division Road sanctuary is home to an outdoor sculpture exhibition featuring the unique work of several local artists. We are an area blessed with countless trails and parks - where canopies of trees act as giant umbrellas.

When it rains, there are lots of shops in the downtown worth checking out. Yes, it feels like we hit the big time with the recent opening of Costco, but it might be time to rediscover why so many people from out of town love our downtown. It's also an opportunity to check out the farmers' market or drop into the Orillia Museum of Art and History which will unveil its latest instalment of Elemental Mariposa, which celebrates Orillia by showcasing the evolution of the downtown.

Right now, Saturday's forecast calls for a 40% chance of showers. Why not be an optimist and think of it as a 60% chance of rain-free bliss? Because no matter the weather, summer won't be here forever and you don't want to flip the calendar to September only to realize that the season has slipped past.

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