Back of My Neck Gettin’ Dirty and Gritty

You know how Minnesotans spend all winter bitching about the cold?

Those very same people are the first ones to gripe when it gets steamy outside.

I’m not one of them. I don’t mind heat. I’m less of a fan of humidity. It’s like cold and snow. At any rate, while I’ll readily admit I’m more of a “moderate weather” girl, I really don’t mind when it is blisteringly hot.

I am not a fan of air conditioning in general, so for me, being stuck in an office with cold, recycled air is akin to torture. I love leaving for the day and stepping out into the sweltering air and just letting it soak in. I can feel that heat melt away the stupid annoyances of the day. It’s blissful.

Now, I may be waxing a bit poetic, but can you blame me? I have a pool. If YOU had a pool, you’d be thrilled beyond belief at this heat as well.

Case in point. Yesterday. Now, I know well that it was warm out. But I was stuck inside, listening to students complain about how hot it is. Really? You were just bitching a week ago that it was crappy out. Try meditation. Or medication.

I was deliberately avoiding the weather online, because I didn’t want to know. Knowing meant my mind might drift and I might start dreaming of my pool and then my devious mind might start to think of reasons why I couldn’t stay at work all day and the next thing you know, I’m inventing a migraine so I can go swimming. Bad plan. (Actually, it sounds like a pretty good plan, but I’m striving for responsibility here).

Once the interminable day ended, I waltzed out the door. My feet hit the concrete and my shoes melted into the ground. Okay, I guess it is pretty hot. Gus and I jammed home with every window down and the tunes cranked up, belting along to our Summer Mix.

I adore driving in the heat. Love it absolutely. Summer driving is the best. Once I’m not perennially broke and driving an ancient car, I’m going to start taking a summer road trip. Every year. See if I don’t. (Did I just make a resolution? How unlike me…)

Well, that was an interesting side trip. The point is, I drove home. I arrived, did the usual, then grabbed my book and a beer and went out to the patio. I sat in a chair and propped up my feet. Full disclosure, I was wearing the minimal amount of clothing necessary to appear mildly proper in public. And then I just sat still. Reading.

Wasn’t but five minutes and sweat was beading on my brow. In the back of my brain, I knew something strange was a-happenin’ but what could I do? I was reading.

Another few minutes trickled by and a drop of sweat Mission: Impossibled its way onto the pages of my book. Splat. I blinked, hard. Then again, as the blink encouraged a river of sweat to detour through my eye sockets.

I set my book aside and pondered how sitting still could produce such copious quantities of sweat. This, as I watched rivulets stream down my arm, causing whorls in my arm hair. What was going on?

Well, folks, it was darn hot out.

I moved out of the sun. It helped, but not much. I finished beer #1 and cracked open number 2. The cool lager seemed to help-or it addled my brain into thinking it helped. Who can be sure?

About 1/2 way through the book, the lawn sprinklers kicked on. I didn’t even know I had lawn sprinklers, until that very moment. Turns out, my new perch was directly in the path. It was okay, though, the sprinklers felt like blessed relief against my parched skin.

Eventually, I finished my book. I went in and ate dinner, then I glanced at the clock. It was about 8:25. It was hot outside and I didn’t want to lay on my bed watching tv. I wanted to be outside. So, I went swimming. Yep, at 8:30 on a random Monday night. On a work night. Aaaaaaah. I love having a pool.

I walked over and a woman was there with her two kids. Good for them. The kids were playing together and barely noticed me as I kept diving in and swimming laps. Then, suddenly, the girl (about 11) was beside me. Diving, swimming, laps. It was cute. She was copying me. I remember being that age and thinking that “grown up” looked so cool. It actually is pretty cool. Wanna know why? 15 minutes after I got there, mom made them go home to go to bed. But I got to stay.

When I arrived, about 8:40, the pool area looked like this.

The sun was setting, the trees were shading the little alcove and no water has ever looked so inviting.
Once the kids and the mom had left, I climbed out of the water and pulled out my portable iPod player. I cranked up my summer mix and snapped a picture of the pool at dusk.
Then I got back in and swam and swam and swam. Sometimes laps, sometimes I invented games to play and then played them by myself. (That sounds sad, it wasn’t. It was fun. Don’t feel sorry for me, I have a pool).
On Memorial Day, when my family was over, swimming, Emily asked me, “can you swim at night?” I told her the posted rules say I can swim 24/7. She wondered what the pool would look like at night, how it would be lit.
Last night, I found out.
Amazing how inviting it STILL looks. And, by golly, it was so warm out, I didn’t want to leave. When I got to the point that it was too hard to swim and I was just drifting (realizing that I really had to pee), I figured it was time to get out and go home. I peeked at the clock. It was 10:00 pm. I’d been swimming for about 90 minutes. It. Was. Glorious.
I got home, showered, and went outside again. It was so warm it was like stepping into a blanket. I sat outside until about 11:15 when I knew I had to get to bed. My biggest disappointment was in knowing I had to work at Hamline today, right after Globe and there would be no moonlight swim. Still, there is always tomorrow, right?
Welcome to summer!

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