Editorial: Rejoice in the simple pleasures

After the 2011-12 summer that never was, and a year when the country continued to struggle out of recession, never has beach weather been more welcome.

As I lay on a towel by Lake Taupo on Saturday afternoon, quietly roasting while I watched my twins, four other children and three dogs swim, life's challenges would have been a cloud on the horizon had there been one.

When the youngsters weren't swimming, they were camped together at a safe distance from "the olds".

Later, in the evening, one daughter crashed on the couch, prior to dinner. The other children in the household amused themselves.

I cooked a barbecue, while the salads were made inside. The dogs lazed about. Bliss.

The same sleepy daughter, commented to me yesterday, that "we didn't really do much this weekend", before falling asleep in the car shortly afterwards.

What she meant was we hadn't specifically gone anywhere to spend money in exchange for activity.

That, I explained, is the beauty of summer. Had she not enjoyed swimming for hours on end? Was her trumpet not delicious to eat?

To the cellphone, laptop, Facebook generation such simplicity can at times be perplexing. They wonder what they've missed out on while they were having such a good time.

For my generation it's a reminder of our childhood, and the values some of us forget to instil due to our busy lives like taking pleasure from the simple things. A cool drink on a hot day. Tasty, seasonal food. Clean water in which to have a dip. Enjoying the company of peers without a care in the world.

Earlier in the week while doing pretty much the same at Pandora Pond, I came upon what I regarded as a brilliant idea.

With limited time to provide lunch before starting work, I briefly contemplated McDonald's for the three children in my care. Instead I took my twins and a friend to a roadside fruit and vegetable vendor where they chose a punnet of strawberries each for lunch. At $9 it was a healthy treat, nowhere near as damaging to the wallet or their waistlines as three Big Mac combos, or even three Happy Meals with McNuggets on the side.

I'm sure many of you clever readers could do lunch cheaper, but the simplicity of the purchase and delivery made for a happy group. I was chuffed.

Beach weather - you've got to love it.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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