Friday, August 11, 2017

I guess she wasn't

When I was a kid we did a lot of swimming. Not Olympic type swimming but a lot of splashing around in the lake, swimming in deep holes in the river, or building dams in a creek to make the water deep enough to play in.

We lived in a little town called Alexis, North Carolina for a short time. During the summer Mom would pack a picnic, load up an old crank ice cream freezer, rock salt, and ice, then we would go to a spot on the river. There we could swim, and while we were swimming one of us kids would take a turn at cranking the ice cream freezer for Mom. I'm still not sure how she pulled off keeping enough ice to make a batch of ice cream on the river during the hot summer in North Carolina, but Moms can do amazing things.

Anyways one of us kids would crank while everyone else swam, then when the one cranking got tired we would switch off, and when Mom said it was ready, that was always the best ice cream ever.

Swimming in the river was great; the water flowed really fast along the bank. I learned to dive into the swift moving water, and once in the flow I would hold my breath as I was taken under the water and swept along the edge of the bank, if I kept my arms pointed straight out above my head and kicked my feet just enough to stay upright, I could keep moving in the flow until the water ran into an open area of the river where the water slowed down, it felt like I was underwater for a really long time, and moved for an extremely long distance, it was quite the rush and was a long walk back to where Mom was making ice cream.

Young boy floating in water up to his chin, looking into camera with blue eyes.
Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash
Once I got really good at floating down the river my underwater swimming skills improved at the lake. I could swim underwater longer and further than anyone, all the kids were quite impressed with my swimming skills, it was good to be looked up to, king of swimming, and the guy to be with, a legend in my own mind as they say.

You all remember the pool that our daughter bought for Cindy's birthday, I'm happy to report that the mini pool is doing much better, now that it was upgraded to the bigger 10 ft pool and we added the pump and chlorine, we even added a cover to keep out all the unwanted stuff like leaves, bugs, and unidentifiable critters that crawl in the night.

Every morning I take the cover off, and turn the pump on, in the afternoon we float and talk, at night we cover it back up and make sure that I remember to shut the pump off. The water is still crystal clear and still inside the pool.

Thursday we weren't able to get our floating done until after supper, which was really nice. Cindy and I were talking about how much nicer the bigger pool was, when she said, "When it comes time to replace this one we will probably upgrade to one big enough to swim in."

In my mind I was immediately taken back to North Carolina, The banks of that river were curved not unlike our mini pool; I swam within the curves of that river, why can't I swim within the curves of the mini pool?

I said "This pool is big enough to swim in" Cindy laughed at me at which my response was to immediately bet her that I could do it, she said there was no way I had room, "I can swim completely around the edge, a complete circle, underwater even" I told her while holding my hand out expecting a shake, the only shake I got was her head.

I stood up and removed my fine straw hat, then my glasses, the pressure was on, I had opened my mouth. In my mind I went back to fifteen year old Jimmy figuring my approach into the swift moving water of the river.

Now I had to figure my approach into a 10 ft by 30 inch deep pool without hurting myself, we all know that you aren't supposed to do this so "Don't try this at home kids." And now I had to make a complete circle without stopping and stay underwater without drowning.

I found the swiftly moving water being blown into the pool by the pump; I made my mini dive in the mini pool and swam my way up against the wall and underneath the ring. I kicked my feet and kept my arms outstretched as I made my way around the pool, I passed the first pump inlet and prayed that I wouldn't be sucked up against the wall ruining my perfect style. Success, I made it past the first inlet, with that said I continued my stride past the second inlet and now I was half way around, it was pretty easy at this point, all I had to do was make it back to the swiftly moving water from the pump, just about that time I got a blast of water right into my right eye.

I had made it! One complete lap as I predicted, I just knew Cindy was going to be proud, she would be cheering and clapping, I would once again be king of swimming, the guy to be with, she was going to be as impressed as all the kids were with fifteen year old Jimmy.

But I guess she wasn't.

When I stood with both hands in the air like a champion, I look to Cindy and asked what she thought, she said, "I think it's time to put the cover on the pool".

I guess maybe fifteen year old Jimmy swimming the length of a river was more impressive than a man my age splashing around in a ten foot pool. Or maybe she was so impressed that she was at a loss for words...yeah I'm going with that one.

44 comments:

  1. I would go with that one too. Far better.

    It's good to have some cool water to cool off in with all this summer heat.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Hello Sandee, it hit 103 here today and still 99 now, so after supper we are getting in for a while, not sure if swimming is an option today ;)

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  2. What fun and great memories that little 10 foot pool is giving you. Makes me jealous because I spent my first 20 summers on a lake and around creaks and mill ponds.

    Love your ice cream memories, too.

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    1. Hello Jean, My first 18 were the same as yours, this little pool we should have gotten many years ago, it is just about all we really need.

      I miss those days cranking that ice cream freezer, they always ended good.

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  3. A larger pool sounds nice, but I am one who avoids problems. How much more work would it be to cover a large one every evening or in the event of a storm?
    Nice thing about swimming in the creek, river, or lake - no upkeep. :D

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    1. Hey Sharon, very true words there Lady, I'd go for a creek or lake but since neither is close I suppose we will continue to cover this one ;)

      Don't really think we need a bigger one.

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  4. Of course it was the second one.
    I learned to swim in local rivers too. And loved it. Though the time I turned to breathe and found a red-bellied black snake (venomous) effortlessly keeping pace with me is a memory which still makes me shudder. (I held my breath and sank to the bottom till the snake had gone past.)

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    1. Right EC, the second one is the one I am sticking to ;)

      Smart thinking to avoid the red-bellied black snake, most people would have panicked and that wouldn't have worked out as well.

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  5. We have many rivers here in Oregon and every summer half a dozen people drown. It's quite sad.

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    1. Hello Stephen, That is a sad part of summertime, people who get themselves into trouble in the water, many a good person have been drowned due to a simple mistake. It is sad I agree.

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  6. Replies
    1. Well Bijoux, nothing ventured noting gained they say ha ha

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  7. Cindy is a tough audience! But you still have the memories of your glory days.

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    1. Hello Val, yeah she may be tough but she is honest, except for the fact that she hid how impressed she actually was, that was some impressive swimming if I say so myself, and it looks like I'm the only one saying so. ;)

      Yeah I still have the glory days.

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  8. I remember we had a neighbor with an above ground pool when I was little. We had a small party of kids there and one of them mention that if we all ran in a circle for a long time, we'd make a cyclone and we could ride the "waves". And it sure worked, for a little while anyway

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    1. Hey Adam, I bet that was a lot of fun making the cyclone, no matter how short lived it had to be a ball.

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  9. Sounds a lot safer than river swimming. Congrats on being "King of the pool!!"

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    1. Hey Joe, Yes Sir King of the pool works for me, and I agree safer than the river and much closer too.

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  10. This brings back memories of swimming and tubing down my hometown river, ominously named "Purgatory". But those little backyard pools can be great too. I think you'd give Michael Phelps a run in yours!

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    1. Hey Abby, Purgatory now that is a name for a river that you can't forget. I agree I bet that I can swim just as good as Phelps in our mini pool. :)

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  11. I think any pool, no matter its size, to try to escape the summer heat is a good thing! Never swam in a river, but waded in an ocean. Like the "cleanness" of a pool myself :)

    betty

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    1. Hello Betty, Yes having one to cool off in is a good thing, and a small one this size is perfect in my opinion. Most of the rivers I have ever been to appear really clean, clear moving water and such, but you are correct that with a pool the cleanliness is in your hands, great point Betty ;)

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  12. Yep-lost for words and probably figuring out how she can learn to do the same. I can swim, but it's a self-taught awkward style and I'd never make it to the Olympics, that's for sure. I can't go very far underwater, never could, my lungs just won't hold enough air.

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    1. Hello River, That has to be it just was simply at a loss for words ha ha.

      We were all self taught with our swimming also, nothing graceful at all, maybe we could team up for the Olympics if they ever come up with an Un-Synchronized Swimming event that is not very long ;)

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    2. I want to join your unsynchronized swimming team. I'm about as unsynchronized in the water as you can get without drowning!!

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    3. Sounds like a plan Fran, we will all make a good team.

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  13. Well done, you. At least you can partially relive your youth. All swimming where I was raised was done indoors at the local specially built swimming baths, those that smell of chlorine and not a bit inviting. You can imagine how I felt when I had a day at the seaside. Keep at it, Jimmy.

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    1. Good morning Valerie, Thank you Mam, reliving our memories like this is a lot of fun whether anyone else sees it like you do or not.

      I never saw a swimming pool until I was a teenager and they built one in a park close to our neighborhood, it was a popular place after the pool went in.

      I can imagine your feeling when you had your day at the seaside, the feeling of comfort, awe, and excitement all rolled into one is how I am imagining it.

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  14. My mom spent good money to have me and my brother learn how to swim. He did great, but I was too busy socializing and failed miserably. (lol) Despite that fiasco, I still enjoy playing in 2-3 ft of water to cool off. Love your post, as always! Happy Saturday! RO

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    1. Hey RO, You can't let something like swimming lessons get in the way of your socializing, that'd be a shame ha ha.

      Any water to cool off in works, you really don't have to do any swimming as long as you can kick back and splash around.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post RO and a Great weekend to you.

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  15. Im not a swimmer but I can do some doggy paddleing and I can float. Ha. I remember the ole crank Ice cream makers. I also remember taking turns with my siblings sitting on it to keep it still while daddy cranked. We all got to take a turn cranking it too but toward the end, we faught over who was the strongest as the icecream thickened.
    Lisa

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    1. Hey Lisa, Nothing wrong with doggy paddling as long as you are floating, that's the important part :)

      Thinking back on those old ice cream makers brings back some good memories, oh yes near the end when everything started thickening you really had to have some muscles.

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  16. See, you can recreate your youth. Well done. I spent many years on a spring fed lake and we lived in our swimsuits. No better way to spend a hot summer. Now you have me kind of missing those days.

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    1. Hey Patti, Spending your summers on a spring fed lake sounds perfect to me, those are great times to remember.

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    1. Thank you Delores, I appreciate that my friend.

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  18. Yep, a loss of words would be more like it. Great story and thanks for sharing. Greetings!

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    1. Yes Sir that's what I thought too, couldn't have been anything else. Good to see you.

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  19. You are still the champion. The problem is, she never saw the initial accomplishments that make you able to do this. Congratulations on keeping your skills!

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    1. Thank you Mimi, If she could have only been there for the original escapades ha ha, we have to keep our skills no matter if they are only in our minds ;)

      Good to see you Mimi

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  20. Jimmy, you have a great way of making us smile out here. I loved this story and Cindy's reaction. What a special story of your time swimming in the river, and that hand-cranked ice-cream machine and your mom. Idyllic times :)

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    1. Hey Denise, It's funny that sitting in the pool with Cindy brought back those memories of my time at the river and even cranking that old ice cream freezer, now swimming around the pool underwater was just me trying to see if I still could ha ha.

      Thank you Denise I appreciate you my friend.

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  21. AS a teenager I spent a lot of time water skiing and swimming in Black River, which flows through Georgetown County and eventually merges Great Pee Dee River.

    Everything was totally cool until one day as I was skiing I passed what to me has a huge alligator lazily swimming perpendicular to my direction or travel. It shook me up but I didn't freak out, I kept skiing until I was well past the gator. What really bothered me though was the "swarm" of water moccasins I saw a couple of hours later that came out of a clump of vegetation along the bank.

    After that I was done with Black River! To this day I can deal with sharks in the ocean, I saw more than a couple when I surfed but I have upset family members by my refusal to go anywhere near Black River again.

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    1. I don't blame you, seeing a swarm of water moccasins would be enough to scare me off of a particular area too, I have ran into moccasins before but only one at at time, one was enough for me.

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