July 5, 2022

30 Love Summer

One day last week I had to stay in all day to be around for the tradespeople working at my home. After an early start to the day, and a 7 a.m. power walk to beat what was to be 35 degree heat later on, I turned on the TV to see if any of the Wimbledon matches were being shown that morning. I lucked in to a great match between Jannick Sinner and Stan Wawrinka, and caught up on the other highlights. I've never been a Djokovic fan, although my husband is. He's moved on to the next round, surprise surprise, (Djokovic, not my husband). Our Canadians made a strong showing, but none made it past the second round this year.

Wimbledon always takes me back to the first months of my marriage when we watched a lot of the tournament. V and I were married in May and moved to Panorama Resort to work for the summer. V worked as a river rafting guide and I worked evenings as a seating host in the Lodge restaurant. I still laugh about the fact that we, a brand new married couple, shared a staff housing unit with two other male raft guides. Their names were Finn and Derek. The four of us shared a townhouse with three bedrooms and an open plan kitchen/living space. The townhouse was quite basic and extremely beige, but perfectly comfortable. Finn, who was an Aussie, was the eldest and a good cook, although something of an alcoholic. Derek was the more social of our two roommates, and we all managed to live together without too much strife. 

Panorama Resort is a ski resort but has many summer amenities to attract visitors, including an outdoor cold pool and tennis courts. My husband was an avid tennis player and batted the ball around with me a fair bit that summer, although I was pretty terrible. He is also a tennis fan, so when the time came around for the annual June event in London, he wanted to watch as much as he could. Naturally, I watched, too, fascinated by the grass courts and the regulation white tennis wardrobe. Wimbledon seemed to have a sort of upper class Oxbridge tone to it, and seemed quite romantic to me, not unlike the Merchant Ivory films so popular at the time (I was a shameless Anglophile). Romance aside, I got into the sport as a spectator. I can't remember who I cheered for in 1992, probably Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi who both won that year, but I do remember enjoying watching the matches with my husband and roommates, learning the scoring system and listening to the commentators who were past tennis greats themselves. 

I had a fun summer overall at Panorama. I spent many afternoons by the pool with a good book and enjoyed socializing with all the other evening workers. On our days off V and I explored the back roads of the East Kootenays in our Toyota 4x4 wagon (that car was a beast) and made trips into the beautiful town of Invermere for groceries and a treat at the Blue Dog Cafe. We relished these times alone and away from the resort. (Ethan Hawke was making a film in the area that summer, too, and one day when I was hanging out of our bedroom window he walked down the street. He looked up at me and smiled and waved. I smiled and waved back. The resort housekeepers had told me his room was a pigsty, but that didn't change the fact that he was special to me simply for the fact that he had starred in Dead Poets Society.)

Fast forward thirty years: V manages a ski/summer resort in the Cascade mountains. He lives his work week in staff accommodation but with no roommates this time, except me when I feel like joining him and my schedule permits. This resort has tennis courts, too, although they are a bit more rustic in appearance than Panorama's. This morning, when I got out of bed and went into the open plan kitchen/living room of V's trailer, the TV was on, the satellite dish now working properly after yesterday's rainstorm. Two tennis players were battling it out for a place in the fourth round of Wimbledon. V went to work and I kept watching. The rallies were long and well fought, and the person I thought would lose, won. A terrific match.  I missed the French Open this year, but when Wimbledon is over we will watch the U.S. Open, then the Rogers Cup I presume. To enjoy tennis you have to understand the scoring system, which makes it a wonderfully interesting and fair sport. It's also a simple game to watch, just two (and in doubles, four) players on opposite sides of a net hitting a ball back and forth. Whereas Football bores me completely with its crowded field and constant stopping at whistles, tennis seems to grab my attention and hold it. I'm not a superfan or anything. I simply enjoy the sport when I get a chance to watch it, especially with my husband, and especially if we are cheering for opposite sides. (You're going down, Djokovic. Go Sinner!) 

Until next time,