PF Weekly Grab a Brew

PF Weekly Grab A Brew #26: School is out for summer

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No Need To Sleep In When Summer Is Here

When is school out? School is out for summer in Ontario starting today although I’m not sure these days if they are singing the praises of Alice Cooper, but I’m sure they are happy to leave the books behind. With Canada Day just around the corner we are gearing up for fun in the sun and plenty of activities for both adults and children.

A few of our friends who are teachers are in class today just to sort out final paperwork for the school year. When that’s done it’s home for a few months of volunteering, summer vacation and getting ready for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic term beginning after Labour Day in September.

I often remember when I was a child (who doesn’t) when life was easy, we didn’t have to worry about paying the bills, budgeting or who was going to make sure the bread and milk was stocked in the kitchen. Nor did I have to worry about planning my day, but that was all about to change one summer. As an adult I’m a planner, I always plan my day but sometimes I realize that doesn’t always work the way I expect it to.

Crack of dawn

Come summer one year my dad was working like he always did and my mum was a stay at home mother who would wake us up in the morning, not always but most days, early. There was no time to sleep in she would say as there was plenty to get done. I thought, how is that fair that all my mates get to stay up late and sleep in during the morning, yet I have to be up with the roosters?

My mum and dad loved taking us on holidays and day trips especially in the summer to embrace the beauty of life around us, mostly culture and history. I went on as an adult to travel to many places around the world and I still get the itch to go now that I am living in Canada.

Not all parents were like my parents and I had to accept that my folks always had to teach me a lesson. I wasn’t deprived of anything as a child but I was also taught right from wrong and encouraged to make my own decisions based on my parents words and my own daily life experiences. This would later help me to make my own choices as an adult.

Asking questions

I never questioned my parents about why they did what they did, I just followed their instruction because I trusted them. I trusted that they knew what they were doing yet I didn’t really know why they would do what they did, unless I asked. I was the child that drives most parents up the wall asking a myriad of questions about anything and everything, but only when I felt it was necessary.

How come this, or how come that and it was only because I enjoyed learning about life. I wanted to know why people did what they did or how come my toy comes apart and can I put it back together again if I take it apart? I was a curious kid but I also knew that with my summer freedom attached to it was a bit of elbow grease called work.

My mum would have us in the garden with her early in the morning to water the plants and pick the weeds. It’s probably a reason why I do that now as an adult. She easily could have done it on her own but my mum enjoyed teaching us about flowers, mainly the names and how to care for them.  My mum loves to read and can read a book a day if you let her and could take me down in a game of scrabble any day of the week.

If there is anything I can’t stand it’s weeds in a garden, especially when they are on our property. My mum would say that one day when you have your own house you will understand why you need to get things done and not sleep all day. Like any kid I nodded and accepted her knowledge as wisdom that she wanted to impart onto me. I took that as a sign that hard work means that I will reap the rewards of beauty in the garden and for many other reasons potentially success, money, health and love.

My summer job

With that lesson came my paper route which I had all year-long but in the summer I had the luxury of choosing when to deliver the papers because they would often get dropped off early in the morning before the sun would rise. When I was in class I had to wait until late afternoon when I would get home. I would run inside have a glass of milk and a biscuit then be on my way.

It was great exercise and I enjoyed meeting my customers and seeing them smile when they saw me coming up the drive to hand them their newspaper. I didn’t know what was so exciting about the paper back then but I knew that whatever it was meant that getting the paper earlier might make them even happier. I’ve always been a guy that enjoys seeing people smile and I am that way today.

It wasn’t long until I realized that my mum was teaching me how to be an adult and that although I was still a young boy it was all about a lesson of what might be ahead for me. We all need some form of structure in our lives even if it’s getting up with an alarm clock so we get to work on time. For others it might be making their lunch at night instead of in the morning.

My mum used to say, do you think you can just show up to work any time you please when you have a job? That makes sense because during the school year it wasn’t like I could waltz into class when I felt like it. I wasn’t really gaining anything by sleeping in anyhow. I went to bed most evenings by 10 pm so who wants to sleep all bloody morning anyhow? The weekends I could sleep in if I wanted to but I really had no inclination to do so.

We didn’t have the internet or video games and the television was turned off at a certain hour each night. The reasoning for this was because my parents wanted to encourage us to be active rather than sit in watching the television every night. Each bedroom in our home didn’t have a television like most kids have today.

I had a bed, night table and a wardrobe and that was it apart from a lamp and other bits and bobs. I would always have books to read and toys to play with but I enjoyed reading and tearing things apart over playing with action figures.

Growing up

That summer I decided to do things differently because I knew that if I took control I could easily get things done faster if I planned my day. I took the opportunity that was before me to spread out my activities during the day by helping my mum and dad first then delivering papers and hanging out with my friends. It made more sense to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up early to get what I needed to done so the rest of the day was mine to do what I please.

I did so much when I was a kid and like any other boy I came home with scrapes and bruises, but when all was said and done those bruises would only make me stronger. I knew that even though school was out for summer I was growing older and with that comes responsibility. That child that I once was, slowly was becoming a young man with dreams.

Without my parents guiding me towards the future because they are one step ahead of  me I may have walked blindfolded into walls. Funny thing is we have to do that sometimes in order to learn and we will for the rest of our lives but we don’t have to hit all the walls. If our parents aren’t there we do the best we can and pick ourselves back up and walk through the mistakes learning from them and trying not to make them again.

Summer was a great time for me as a child and I hope many kids who go to summer camp, deliver papers or have chores to do realize that each lesson or step we take as children is a path towards life as an adult. We might not understand that when we are a child but little by little, it all makes sense or at least it did for me. Enjoy the summer with your children, you are all blessed to be parents.

What does your child do when school is out for summer?

Top Recipe


If you haven’t had a chance to check out my new Facebook page The Free Recipe Depot please come around and Like my page. It’s a place where I share recipes and only recipes from blogs and websites from around the web.

Today the top recipe goes to Chin Deep for this brownie recipe (although I still think I have the best brownies on the planet *wink) with fresh strawberries and whipped cream layered between two brownies. It’s a perfect treat for Canada Day as well with the red and white. Thanks to all the foodie pages that shared a brownie recipe at The Free Recipe Depot yesterday. You can follow Chin Deep on Facebook as well for more delicious recipes.

Don’t forget to pass by my Canadian Budget Binder Facebook Page every Sunday for Frugal Food Sunday to share a blog recipe so I can share it with my over 5900 fans. We get closer to our 6000 fan goal every day.

PF Weekly Reading Line-Up

Here are a few blog posts that I thought were worth mentioning this week from blogs that I connect with.

Top Story: The Simplicity Of Summer: Budget and The Beach

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #26, school is out for summer.


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