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Pool Play

Yesterday afternoon I figured out that for nearly half of my life, there's been a backyard swimming pool at my disposal. You already know I am not one of those pool owners who use their pool as a backyard "prop." Folks like that are hard to figure because there is the expense and maintenance involved with owning a pool and you would think that alone should get them outside!

The very first paper I wrote for Freshman Comp on 09/1905 had to do with our swimming pool when I was growing up. Most all of the stuff from my time at Valencia has made it's way into the recycling bin except for my essays which I keep in the spare bedroom. The assignment was "a place that holds a special childhood memory for you." Sounds easy enough if you're 18 like the vast majority of my classmates, but at 52, it was a bit of a stretch for this freshman!   

The Pool on Montclair Street begins like this:

     The disruption of power that resulted from the onslaught of three major hurricanes in Central Florida last year gave new residents and young people a small taste of what life was like in Florida during the 1950's and 60's. "How did people live here before air conditioning?", was a constant question during those weeks. Lakes, and possibly a fan were all most people had to stay cool. My family, however, was lucky enough to have our own swimming pool. (this is verbatim--although I received an A, I'm not sure it was warranted)

Yikes! Writing those papers was so stressful! Anyway, I went on to detail how much of our family life revolved around keeping cool in the pool, something I still do every chance I get. Yesterday afternoon the pool was filled, once again, to the brim, from another massive rainstorm. Once I got in and started trying to move the water out, I felt the need to have a little photography fun while I was at it.
That looks downright refreshing doesn't it? All of a sudden, perhaps seeing the synchronized swimming recently, I thought I wonder if I can still do a handstand in the water, something I'm certain is out of my realm on land.
Let me tell you, this was harder than it looks! Obviously the camera is on the tripod, set for a 10 second delay and three exposures. Good thing because by the time I got back in the pool and tried this trick I was lucky to get even this one. Don't think I'd score very high with those legs apart and good grief, my toes aren't even pointed!! Actually, our pool was built for a diving board, so it's fairly deep, with a quick slope, making finding a solid place to attempt this maneuver a wee bit hard. Because our childhood pool was so large and flat,  my sisters and I would do this trick day in and day out! As well, we did multiple somersaults under water, seeing who could do the most without coming up for air. And then there were our own "swim meets." My Dad used to time us as we swam against each other and the clock! I never did get the hang of the butterfly, however, I'm a pretty decent back stroker.
My one problem with this stroke is that I always veer off course, not to mention bang my arm on the side as I come to the end!
Shot two, or three, from the same set up as the one above, you can see what I mean! Did I get much water out of the pool with all my fooling around? Not really, and what little I did disperse filled right back up during a late night storm! Looking out my window as I type, the clouds are coming in for yet another round of rain, thunder and lightening. It is a shame that while we are getting inch after inch of rain, much of our country is drying up.

In that same paper I gave a little shout out to my mom:

"With no air conditioning in the house, the windows were all open; the screaming and shouting of at least 12 children (us and the neighborhood kids) playing in the pool was my mom's constant companion. What was fun for us kids, however, must have caused her misery." Can you imagine?

When I was 15 we moved from the house on Montclair Street just as I was to be a junior at Boone High School. As most of you know, Bruce and I had been dating for two years by then, and the prospect of moving 70 miles away to Melbourne caused both of us our own little misery. Bruce tells the story how, while our house in Orlando was for sale, he was to keep the pool clean until a buyer came along; as he brushed and put the chlorine in, he would cry. That alone tells you he was a keeper! And keep him I have; Saturday is our 38th wedding anniversary!

During those two long years of separation, when he wasn't driving over to see me once he got a car, I was heading to Orlando on the Greyhound bus to stay with his family. What did we do when I was there? Why, we played canasta. And so it was that while doing the yard Saturday I noticed lots of cars driving down our normally quiet street, signalling a garage sale in the vicinity. Hopping on my bike I went in search and came back with this:
Copyright 1950, and all I paid was $1.00. Rarely have we played over the years, mostly because we couldn't remember the rules all that well. Of course we could have looked them up, but this set will be infinitely more interesting to use. Now, if he can find the time, that is the question.....

Stopping by Dana's office after my photo shoot Tuesday she asked me if I was going to Kathy's father's visitation. My goodness, of course I am, now that you've told me about it. As we like to call it, our market family has several Kathy's, plant Kathy, and funnel cake Kathy. Funnel cake Kathy is one of the sweetest ladies you'll ever meet; I've written about her before when we made our visit to the Central Florida Fair last year. At that time, I may have told you she was a third generation concessionaire, but what I didn't know until the visitation is, that not only does she have a college degree, her mom and dad did as well. Still, they loved fairs and they loved selling cotton candy, so much so that at one time they had five stands and multiple employees. I learned even more from this:
"Arby" as everyone called him, was only five hours short of his Masters in Economics. In the newspaper clipping Kathy is only 24 years old, and already she'd spent time as both, one of the original can-can girls at Rosie O'Grady's, and a water skier at Cypress Gardens. Orlandoans will get both references to once famous local attractions. Still, her first love was doing fairs and markets; joining her father, they traveled the circuit for years with him only giving it up when he turned 80! How about that? As I was leaning down to examine this clipping, I heard someone call my name. One of the girls I went to high school with was there with her Mother because they were next door neighbors to the Arbogasts. During our conversation I learned Claudia's Mother is still playing tennis three times a week at the age of 82! Imagine doing that in this heat!

Have I gone on too long with stuff you could care less about? Sorry, it's my blog...

Before I began writing I'd put this emotional piece from the Guardian I found on Matt's blog, on the page. And then, I went on to write about children and their parents, without even realizing it might segue nicely. How's that? Well, the beautifully written article tells what it is like being the parent of an Olympian.  None of our sons came close to that level, however, all of them played sports, as well as doing other interesting things. I was one of those parents who, if their child was playing, acting, speaking, whatever, I was there, oftentimes with my heart in my throat while they had both successes and failures. Don't listen to anyone who tells you it is easy being a parent, because they are lying.

A trend that is becoming more bothersome by the day, is, what I call "snarkiness," which if it isn't a word, should be. Quit finding fault with everything, quit complaining, quit being ungrateful, quit being so self-centered. Quit already!!!! Finally, don't believe everything you read on the internet.
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