I miss having a pool. When I was a kid, we always had a pool. The first pool that we had was a sweet 3.5 foot deep above the ground pool in the back yard of our Quincy Street home. When we moved to Queens Road, we inherited an enormous in the ground pool roughly the size of Texas (12 feet deep). Man that thing was awesome… The diving board was equivalent to a giant trampoline, enabling some of the most incredible dives this side of the Olympics. Looking back, I have no idea how I never broke a bone in the abyss of that pool… We did some crazy shit too.
If you are a boy in high school, there is no better way of hanging out with girls than inviting them over for a swim. My friends and I would sit around in the evenings and debate what girls to invite to the pool the next day. The butterflies in my stomach would always erupt shortly before the girls arrival with feelings of insecurities because as my friend at the time, Mikey Rohr, would always say “Hot Chicks are on the way,” with a predator’s grin. I swear, I always had that weird question in the back of my mind, “Why do these ‘hot chicks’ want to hang out with a couple of dopes like me and Mikey?” I mean sure, we were harmless enough, and it seemed like everyone had a good enough time, but why would these kinds of girls (cute, but VERY stupid) want to hang out with us? I eventually learned that they really liked my SWEET pool and Mikey and I were just tolerable enough to be around. Maybe they sat around the night before and debated what guys pool to go to the next day. I was just less annoying than the other guys.
My father (Howard) would work tirelessly on the upkeep of the pool all summer long, and as his youngest son and main user of the pool, I was nominated as his apprentice. There were summers I would spend approximately 30 hours a week on the vacuuming, skimming, flushing, chlorinating and other general maintenance on that enormous pool. You would think that with all of this time spent on the pool, it would be a wonder to be seen… Not exactly. I have to admit, that more often than not, it had a slightly greenish tint to the water, with numerous leaves and a few bugs floating on top. I guess that due to this fact, the maintenance of this pool has to be the biggest frustration and disappointment of my life. There were times I just wanted to take a crap on that pool and forget it’s existence.
Well… I started this whole thing with the sentence “I miss having a pool” and all I have done is bitch about how the pool ruined my life. So here are some good things about pool life.
When I was too short to touch the bottom of our 3.5 foot deep pool on Quincy, I still remember my mother holding me and playing “motor boat” by swinging me from side to side in the water… As a matter of fact, this is one of my earliest childhood memories. I can still remember seeing her laughing face looking at me as she made me explode with giggles in the Kansas evening. Every time I find a child to play “motor boat” with I have flashes of my mother and the joy we experienced in that pool.
I remember the nights that my whole family took a “dip” right before bed time and after our nightly snack. My father would stand up from his recliner and exclaim, “who wants to go for a dip.” In almost perfect unison, my mother, brother, sister and I would go and change into our suits with excitement. I loved this time with my family, we would get in the water and simply sit there looking at the evening sky and listen to my father talk about office politics, my mother brag about one of us, my sister talk about one of her friends and my brother and I talk about baseball. When the chatting was done, we would climb the latter to the deck and my mother would dry me off… This is one of those things that I wish I would have never learned to do for myself, because it felt so good and warm feeling the towel against my chilly face.
With all of the crap that went along with having this giant hole of water in my back yard, I would not trade anything for these memories and the thousands of others that I had through the years involving my pool…
I guess I really do miss having a pool.
Carrie leaves for Sweden tomorrow… I miss her already.