Opinion

Hodge: Time to complain now about the heat

Finally—something bright and shiny in the sky that is reminiscent of summers in the Okanagan.

For a born and raised Valley boy, I must admit to feeling a tad bit discombobulated about our recent propensity for rain.

The only consolation (if it really matters) is that the same nasty, unpredictable weather patterns have been nailing most of the nation.

I am happy the ‘lousy’ spring weather is finally over because now that summer is here we can finally complain about the ‘horrible’ heat.

After all, complaining is what we ‘Valley folk’ do best. Wait for it.

If you are a ‘newcomer’ (within the last five years or so) then it is important to understand that the ‘Kelowna way’ is to complain all  the time about the weather.

It is either “too cold, too hot, too wet, to dry, to windy, no breeze…”

A true veteran Kelowna resident will also tell you that they would, “never live anywhere else.”

Mark Kelowna residents down as spoiled rotten.

Regardless, I digress. As a born and raised Okanaganite, I figure it is my duty to help lead the charge on providing helpful tourist tips and advice.

I like to think of this as a sort of a ‘best of’ and ‘worst of’ list for visitors.

So here it is—the places to hang in Kelowna.

I welcome local readers (and/or visitors) to add your contributions to my list, which I will update next month.  Email your suggestions to hodgepodge2@shaw.ca

There are no rules except keep your submission brief and no promoting your mother, brother, girlfriend—unless truly merited.

Categories are endless, but a few you could send me include:

The best thing about Kelowna, the worst thing about Kelowna, best breakfast, best soup, best waitress, favourite pub, favourite place with live music, favourite place to people watch, favourite spot (anywhere).

Just for the record, here’s a taste of my list:

The best thing about Kelowna is probably the stroll along the waterfront at The Delta Grand, a wander through Maud Roxby Bird Sanctuary, or walking along the Greenway. Either that or a quiet night in your backyard with the sun setting in a warm evening sky.

The worst thing about Kelowna is the parking meters and ticket attendant’s downtown. The machines fail to take several coins. In the case of the human element, they are generally rude. The frustrating parking and ticket scenario continues to cripple downtown.

Best soup in town—Grateful Fed, hands down.

•••

I joined hundreds of other residents Wednesday in bidding a fond farewell to a true Kelowna hero, Dr. Barry Urness.

Pastor Ken Schroeder did a marvellous job in leading the moving memorial service at the Baptist Church in Kelowna,  honouring ‘The Bear.’

I will miss my dear friend, however, his legacy lives on in so many parts of our community.

There is simply no question that the Okanagan Sun football team would not exist today without the efforts of Urness. Thank you to his wife Betty for sharing such a wonderful man with the community.

•••

Dr. Urness would be proud of another Okanagan hero, young Austin Glabus-MacLeod who was a part of the amazing 2012 Ride2Survive Cancer Fundraiser event earlier this month.

The Ride2Survive involved a gruelling Kelowna. to Delta (400 kilometres in one day) bike trek on Saturday, June 23. The ride consisted of 90 riders who collectively raised more than $400,000 in donations for cancer research.

Every penny was donated to research with no funds toward administration or overhead fees.

Austin, 14, participated in the Kelowna to Merritt leg of the ride and cycled 132 km uphill to an elevation of 1,744m (5,721ft) for some six hours with the group! Awesome work.

Austin is the youngest rider in the event’s eight-year history to have participated and is hoping to be able to do the full ride to Delta next year.

If you want to know more about Austin and the rest of his amazing friends then check out the web link for more info at www.ride2survive.ca.

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