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I think it’s safe to say we’ve skipped spring and jumped feet first into summer. It was hot today. So hot, that before dinner, we decided a walk down the lane was in order to let the cooling breeze wrap itself around us. We enjoyed the heavy blueness of the world for those few moments after the sun has slipped below the horizon but night has not yet fallen.

On Friday afternoon Paddie trotted home, head held high, acting like a Queen. We wondered why the extra-jaunty demeanor until she got within smelling distance. EW. Paddie had rolled in something disgusting and she was ever so proud of herself. We were less than impressed. We couldn’t even let her in the house because whatever she splashed behind her ears and all around her collar stunk to high heavens. We didn’t have a choice: a trip to the beach was in order.

We arrived as the sun was setting. We were wearing shorts and sandals and carried two beach blankets. The moment we stepped on the beach we realized it was still May in Nova Scotia after a long winter. It was f-f-f-freeeeezing. Within two minutes we couldn’t feel our feet. But Paddie and Slipper didn’t care. They were off and loving life. The Beach! Sticks! Water! Slipper almost always gets the stick first. She’s got that Border Collie determination on her side. harrierhill.caBut once in awhile Paddie manages to win with a mix of heart and luck.

harrierhill.caharrierhill.caSometimes it’s a tie. Or, Slipper swims out to get the stick and Paddie tries to wrestle it from her when she’s back in shallow water. Paddie is very efficient with her energy expenditure.

harrierhill.caDespite being up to her eyeballs in the sea, Paddie still smelled pretty bad. Dave braved the cold water to give her a quick splash and rub down. Paddie was displeased with this bath-like turn of events. But lucky for us, she doesn’t hold a grudge for long.

I wonder if Karen Blixen realized when she wrote, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea,” that anything included a stinky (but sweet) farm dog living on the North Shore of Nova Scotia!

I am always listening to music. I always have. My Fisher-Price record player was one of my parents’ smartest investments in keeping me occupied as a child (even if it did mean they had to listen to The Lion Sleeps Tonight on repeat for a year). The first time I had my own money ($20 from a birthday party – score!) I went to the mall and straight to Sam the Record Man where I bought the Cocktail Soundtrack (not so bad!) and Tiffany (hey, she was cool in the ’80s!) on cassette. My Mom asked, “Are you sure? You want tapes and not a Barbie?” My little 8 year old heart knew that it was Tiffany or bust.

I think I’ll always slightly prefer John Cougar Mellencamp’s version of Rave On as a nod to my inner budding musciophile but luckily (hopefully?), my tastes have refined over the years. There’s nothing like a rainy day to inspire playlist-making so here you go. Rainy Friday afternoon in May, you are my high school crush and this is my updated version of a mix CD, complete with cover art. I hope you like it.