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?