Hot Fun in the Summertime

Yesterday was another scorcher. I finally had no choice but to give in and turn on my air conditioning on Saturday. After living a week with my upstairs running about 85° on average, I couldn’t take it anymore. I uncovered it (yep, I nearly made it to July before I uncovered my air conditioner for the summer) and cleaned it and turned it on.

Yesterday, Sunday, was another over-90 day (like the sixth in a row) and the humidity is up there as well. After sleeping in (hallelujah for my only day off in the week) the family came down and we headed to the pool. Somewhat surprisingly, it was NOT crowded.

We played and romped and laughed and grilled and ate and played some more, for a total of four hours. That’s a long time for little ones, they were completely wiped by the time we called it a day.

I don’t have a ton of pics, because I was in the pool for most of that time, being the one who played with the kids and toted them around.

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lunch break
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The view from the deck of the pool

 
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We saw a HUGE frog (can you see him, he’s kind of camouflaged in the mud. Just at the edge of the water line, slightly right of center in the photo). Mind you, we were about 15 feet above him when taking this and this is with full zoom. This frog was ginormous. Biggest frog I’ve ever seen.

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She’s gotten adept at spotting turtles and kept dragging me to the fence to point out more.
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That’s Chip. Simon named him. He was the biggest one we saw that day.

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Modern day turtle hunting.
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Boy, three years sure does make a LOT of difference, hmm?

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I think she spotted Chip…
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And, my favorite photo of the day…

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Those two are so sweet together. And laughing like loons as they played in the water.

It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday. All the people I love in one place, food, sunshine, and swimming. Summer at its very best.

Poolaxin’

Last night, my mom and I made a plan. Okay, technically, the plan was made on Sunday, but work with me here.

We decided we were going swimming. Just the two of us. No friends, no children, no one who would be screaming “Olivia” “Olivia” the entire time we’re there.

I got off work, late, and we both had planned trips to Target. Separately. I called her to move back my time table, but everything still went according to plan. We met at my house. She was there already, which was helpful for the girl who might have a broken foot, she helped me carry my packages inside.

We got to the pool at 7:00pm. We got in and just drifted, floated, and lazily swam laps, chatting non-stop the entire time. We ended up staying for 90 minutes, and I don’t think we ever stopped talking, even once. There is no one in the world I’d rather talk to than my mom and I feel like we haven’t connected much lately. And even when we have, it wasn’t just her and me. It felt so good to just talk and catch up, I actually started to feel a little normal.

So far, it is my favorite trip to the pool. Best Monday night, ever. Thanks, Mom! I love you.

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.

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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.
 
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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.
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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!

Swimming Pool

I’ve wanted a swimming pool all my life. That’s not an exaggeration. Ask my mom, she’ll tell you I’ve been a pool nut from the very beginning.

We once visited a friend of my dad’s, someone he worked with. We went to his house and he had this HUGE above-ground pool in his yard. I was in love. I remember begging for my dad to get us a pool like that. (Since I’d long given up on getting an in-ground pool). Our family friends, Frank and Kathy bought a pool for their kids. It was a small above-ground pool. Maybe 8′ across? I was so jealous. I longed for a pool of my own. But, it never happened.

That is why, when I had the opportunity, I took full advantage. Ask Kelly about the time I went “camping” with her family and I wouldn’t get out of the pool for three days. I mean, other than flirting with those cute guys (and playing pool?) I was in the water the entire weekend. Which sent me home with 2nd degree burns on my face. I’m much more careful now.

But, I love to swim. I love to play in the water and have fun.

My house has a pool.

I wasn’t looking for a townhouse with a pool, but when I found my house and it happened to have a pool, I was sold. After the fiasco that was the closing of this house, it ended up being more than two weeks later than it was supposed to be. Do you  remember last October? It was warm, sunny, and gorgeous. The pool was open during the closing fiasco and I just kept hoping it would hold until I got my keys. I wanted even one day of sitting by my pool.

They closed it two days before I finally got my keys.

That means I spent seven months paying dues to support the cost of my pool that I couldn’t even use.

It finally opened just under two weeks ago. Of course, this bizarrely cool weather has really been hindering the pool usage, but I’ve still managed to make it over there a few times.

The very first time was with Kelly and her kids as they popped in to visit one night.
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The kids were so excited we let them strip down to their underwear and “swim”. They played in the pool until after bedtime and we finally dragged them out so Kelly could get them home. Christian started crying he was so upset about leaving the pool. I feel ya, buddy. I hugged him and promised him that they’d come back soon.
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Next, I took my friends Clay and Lew for an evening, to give their dad a break while mom was in China. They wanted to go hang out at my house. Evidently, my house is fun. We walked over to the pool and they also stripped down and played in the water. That was last Wednesday.

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(And Lew was deliberately hiding his face. He thought it was funny!)

On Friday, I babysat my nephew for a couple hours. He, too, wanted to see the pool. He ended up skinny dipping while I swam for the very first time. We played in the water until he was cold and exhausted. Did I mention it was only 60 degrees out? We’re dedicated! Simon loved it so much. When I got him back home he told Grandma that he swam without his clothes on and she said, “you went skinny dipping?” I had avoided calling it that so far. But now he knows the term, so when his mom picked him up, what did he tell her? “I went skinny dipping, mama!” She blames me. I said it’s Grandma’s fault.

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This picture also marks MY first time swimming in my pool!
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(doesn’t really look like swimming weather…does it?)

On Saturday, Mindy called. She was back from China and Tom was helping friends move. She was looking to entertain the kids for a bit and they asked to come swimming at my house. I said come on over! We swam for a bit, then it started raining. We kept swimming for a while, then it started pouring. Finally, we were all so cold we went into the sauna to warm up. Probably not the best for kids, but we kept it on low…and it is a sauna, not a steam room. The boys LOVED the sauna.
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Lew is dancing, I think. Clay is just happy I gave him a pop. They would take turns spraying the water onto the rocks. I think that was their favorite part.

On Sunday, I watched Arionna so my sister and Chad could paint their basement. We avoided the pool. Only because I knew that we would go swimming the very next day.

Monday, Memorial Day, was an absolute blast. My sister and Chad has asked more than a month earlier if they could bring Ario over for her first swim. Luckily, my pool is heated, so it works in a variety of weathers. Then we invited my parents and Zack and Kim. Kim was sick on Memorial Day, so they stayed home. Just about an hour before our pool party was to start, Mindy called. She said they wanted to come swimming again. I invited them, too. Then I invited the Humphreys, but they missed out.
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It actually looks like Ario is having fun. She sort of did. She probably started crying a few seconds after I took this. But by the end she seemed like she liked it. By the end of summer I bet we’ll have a little fish on our hands.

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My sister used to have a pool at her apartment, four years ago. Luckily, she kept most of her pool toys and brought them with. So now, I have tons of fun things to play with, including a Jet Ski!
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My parents didn’t spend a ton of time in the pool, but they still had a blast. And isn’t the scenery by the pool gorgeous?
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Late in the day, as we were winding down, it finally got sunny. This little peanut was having fun, though she needs some more time to get used to the water.
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I love this picture! Even though she isn’t looking. The color is amazing and you can see her beautiful curls.
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Awww! Everyone should be so lucky as to have this grandma. I should know, I have her as a mom.

Fortunately, Mindy was also taking pictures and she managed to grab one of me.

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Not surprisingly, I was in the water. Except for blowing up the pool toys and taking the few above photos, I was in the water for almost four hours straight. When Mindy wanted to come talk to me, she sat at the edge and I swam over and chatted. Neither Mindy, nor Tom, are big pool people. Outside, yes, but not in the water. Their boys, however, are pool nuts. Tom and my dad were talking about it during the party and my dad told Tom not to worry, I LIKED playing in the pool with his kids.

My dad is right. I love being in the water. I love it when friends bring their kids to play (it’s more fun than swimming alone). I absolutely, positively, undeniably, love having a pool.

32 years.

Worth the wait.