Day 58 – Pool time

We spent last week at my in-laws in California, I love staying at their home, two things bring me a great deal of comfort there….the food (my mother-in-law is a great cook) and the pool.  Everyday, sometimes twice a day, found me in the pool, it’s not really designed for swimming, but it’s wet and warm…my only two requirements for a swimming pool.

As a kid, I was a big swimmer.  Whenever we had a pool available when I was a child, I was in it.  My first memory is not my own, it comes from stories told over the years.  I remember the pool, I remember the ice cream, I even remember swimming there…what I’m reminded of is me hollering “I swim to you daddy” and jumping in the deep end.  Fortunately, dad heard me and rescued me from the bottom.

When I actually learned to swim, I was about five, we had moved to Shelby, Michigan, my mom’s home town.  All of my aunts and uncles lived there, during the summers, everyone spent time at Stony Lake…all of them (or at least it seemed like it) had cottages there.  Early in the mornings, I would put on my swimsuit and walk down to the dock.  We would meet our swim instructor, take our place on the U-shape dock and practice for the next hour.  Most mornings were too cold to be comfortable, but we learned a lot.  To me, as a five year old, the dock was HUGE!  Thirty years later when I stood on that dock as an adult, I was amazed at how small the dock was.  Surely they re-built it over the years and down-sized.  Amazing how our minds work as children.

The next few years found us on Okinawa, living at the Officer’s Club pool.  Literally, we spent every extra minute there.  We played hard and practiced hard every day.  I was an okay swimmer, good enough to make the podium in my blue and white striped Speedo, but only when the little Hawaiian girl wasn’t there would I make the top of it.  I never could quite beat her.

When we finally moved to Idaho, swimming became a thing of the past.  The only pool available in American Falls was The Nat….it was open only a few months of the year and it was out of town, so we didn’t really have access.  I miss those days of swimming daily, being in the water is probably my most natural state, maybe that’s why i miss my bath so much?


Day 354 – May You Die Young as Late as Possible

One of the great things about being on the road is the ability to see people you don’t technically live near.  On Monday, we went out to dinner with one of our nearby racers and his girlfriend/fiancée – no one actually explained the relationship with me, so I’m guessing.  Sarah is a beautiful woman who is so completely free and forthcoming, she has an enthusiasm for life that is quick to see.

It turns out that we both lived on Okinawa in our youth, albeit about 10 years apart.  I was there in the early 70’s, her in the 80’s.  It was fun to reminisce with someone who had actually seen the island and to talk with a fellow survivor of a military upbringing.  Both of us thought it was a great way to raise kids.  I never really thought about all the moving and making friends part until I moved to a small non-military town when my dad retired.  All of a sudden I was in a school where everyone had been together since kindergarten.  That was completely different than what I was used to, what, with people coming and going all the time.  It was different being the new kid.  In base schools, there were always new kids.

Huffy bikes were for girls too!

We talked about how free it was to live on base, you never had to worry about anything, I remember getting lost after going bike riding with some friends and when it got dark and my friends had left for home, I simply knocked on the nearest door and told them I was Major Cornett’s daughter, could they help me?

We used to run all over the base with our bicycles.  Everyday when I came home, I was reminded to put my bike away, they had to remind me because I was not very good at getting it done.  One morning I got up to find my bike had disappeared.  Oops, I hadn’t locked it up, our next door neighbor was Colonel Calhoun, the chief of military police at Kadena.  I reported my bike missing because my parents made me and I figured that was the end of it.  Not true.  The next afternoon the Colonel called and asked my dad to bring me down to the police station.  Dad loaded me up in the Land Cruiser and we went, I was pretty nervous, I’d never been in a police station before.  When I got there, they set me up for a little interrogation, what color was my bike? Where had I seen it last? What brand was it? Did I have a habit of forgetting my bike lock?  I answered every question.  Next they took me on a stroll past the jail cells.  There, on one of the beds behind bars, was my purple Huffy.  The officers really got a kick out of that, but I never forgot to lock my bike up again.