There are two really nice pools at my apartment complex. That’s one of the reasons I chose to live there. This summer has been really busy, so I’ve only been swimming a few times. Last night I took Abbs for a walk. It was SO hot and sticky, even after 9 p.m., so I decided to go swimming. The water was a dream. I could have stayed all night.

In case you haven’t noticed, I LOVE swimming. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, lalala. It’s the only sport I’ve ever been relatively good at. My brother is good at all sports. He’s an athlete. I’m generally the total opposite, a bumbling klutz, except in the water. Both my parents love to swim, so they made sure I was in the water before I could walk. My Mom said I loved it right away. When my family lived in North Carolina, each summer, my Dad’s church got us a membership at Hillsdale, a private pool down the road from the manse. For at least seven summers, I could be found at the pool from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. During some of those years, I swam on the pool’s swim team, which I loved. (I have a fun swim meet story that I’ll have to share some time.)

Because I spent so much time at the pool, I was always very tan and freckly and my nose was perpetually red and peeling. (I know I know. I’m all about the sunscreen now.*) My parents tried to make me wear that white sun block stuff, but I’d wipe it off as soon as I got to the pool because I was embarrassed to have such a stand-out schnoozle.

I met lots of people at Hillsdale. I also had a guest pass so I could bring friends to the pool. We used to hook our legs on the edge of the pool and hang down under water like bats with our backs against the pool wall – so much fun! We also discovered that there are air bubbles under the steps of ladders in the pool, so we figured out how to contort ourselves to breath in the bubbles.

I also spent hours just playing on my own. I’ve always felt so comfortable in the water. I can do all these fun things with my body that I can’t come close to doing on land. (Dirty.) Somersaults, back flips, hand stands, oh my! I love it all – the quiet under the water, even swimming laps. It’s so rhythmic and steady.

Last night, I swam some laps and then started fluttering around. I quickly lapsed into an old pattern of mine that I’d forgotten about. I start doing hand stands and get absolutely enthralled with the rhythm of holding my breath and then exhaling over and over, the feeling of the water whooshing around my body, and the twisty boundless feeling of unencumbered movement. I end up doing hand stand after hand stand, over and over. It’s some sort of odd pool trance. I try different angles and techniques. And I love to flip around really slowly so I can look up and see my tootsies poking out of the water. About 15 minutes into my trance, I realized what I was doing and popped out of the water to see if people were watching and wondering if I’d formed a one-woman apartment complex water ballet team. Then I decided, “Eh, who cares.” I had a ball. Splashy and fun.

P.S. Abby loves the water too. She took to it right away. Her herding instinct really kicks in though. For example, when Ern and I go to the lake, Abby swims big swaths around us, gradually tightening the circle to herd us together and closer to the shore. She tries to herd the geese, but they honk at her and she gets scared. Also if she’s on the shore and you’re swimming and get too far out, she starts chirping. She likes her flock to be within a safe distance. Sweet girl.

*Several of my clan, including me, have had skin cancer. It’s always been a big deal in my fam that the sun is bad for your skin and you have to be really careful. The problem is, I’ve always liked how my skin looks when I get some sun. It’s only recently that I’ve gotten to the point where I can see myself aging. Now I realize I’d rather look younger longer and NOT DIE than be tan for a few days here and there. Plus there are tons of self tanners and I can replicate that flushed, red-cheeked look by slapping myself a few times. 😉


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