The beginning of summer feels full of possibilities. It’s a time when I benefit from the fresh start effect – I can forgive myself for the unsavoury measures I took to survive the winter and move on. Summer Katie doesn’t do those things. That was Winter Katie. The month of April brought blessed, proper spring to Calgary. Surprise snow storms and lingering cold were rare. The theme last month was sunshine. Hallelujah! But the unexpected gift of early warm weather is making me a little nervous. Being the person that I am, I want to ensure my full enjoyment of every sun-soaked moment with a detailed plan. I am a goal setter, a track keeper, a data recorder. What better way to kick off the summer than with some achievable summer goals?
First goal: hike every weekend, weather permitting. Last year, I only hiked a few iconic trails in the national park. I never really explored the backcountry. This year will be different. I’m going to see it all! Every peak, every meadow, every surprisingly turquoise lake. I’ve already hiked two trails that are totally new to me. Early last month, I hiked one of the first peaks you come to as you approach the Rockies from Calgary – Door Jamb, named for its wedge-like shape. I strained my Achilles on both legs and subsequently had to take a week off running because the trail was so very upward, but the views were completely outstanding (see ecstatic jumping photo with pink Costco jacket). A local blogger I follow (because I’m a blogger now, so I’m part of the blogosphere) arranged a day hike last weekend and I eagerly attended. We hiked the East End of Rundle, also called EEOR, like the donkey from Winnie the Pooh. We didn’t summit. We stopped at a lovely bench near the top with 360 degree views. No one in the group managed to get worked up about not being at the absolute tippy-top. Considering that it’s not even summer yet and I have two hikes under my belt, I’m feeling pretty good about my ability to knock this goal out of the park.
Second goal: create a website. I am three weeks into the Lighthouse Labs pop-up course. So far, I’ve learned HTML, CSS, Bootstrap and Ruby. Before I started, I heard a lot of people say that learning your first language is one of the biggest hurdles and I agree. New languages are coming easier and easier. By the end of the course, or shortly thereafter, I would like to have created a brand new beautiful website. I’m basically almost there, as you can see from my example below. For reals, though, I’m going to create something nice this summer.
Third goal: grow a vegetable garden. I’ve received a lot of conflicting advice about gardening in Calgary. Chris loves to remind me that Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada. He used that bit of trivia a lot when he was trying to convince me to move here. Plenty of sun = happy plants, right? However, Calgary’s temperatures can plummet at night and the risk of a freeze never really goes away. Last week, I met Chris’s Auntie Bernice for coffee at Monogram (which was fabulous, by the way). Bernice has lived in Calgary for several decades. Her advice on gardens was to plant frost-hearty veggies in a garden bed and keep the more sensitive stuff in pots against the house. The heat from the house keeps things like tomatoes warm enough to produce, even when the nights are cold. So, I’ve spent this week potting tomato seeds and clearing out three 2’x6′ garden boxes in the back yard. So far, none of my seeds have sprouted (I saved some from a few years ago and I can’t swear that I did it right), but I’ll give them a couple of weeks before I go out and buy starts. I will probably only get lettuce and carrots this year, but it still feels good to have soil under my fingernails. Bring it on, summer. I’m prepared!