As I sit in front of my computer I pondered the meaning of life. HA! Not really. That’s way too deep for a Friday afternoon in mid-August. I was actually thinking about when I was a kid how I spent my summers.
I was pretty lucky growing up in the country. Being a June baby my birthday marked the end of school. I was surrounded by dirt roads, a clean river to swim in, a horse to ride with my friend Cynthia, the library within an easy bike ride and swimming lessons.
Each August, for the first two weeks, Mom would load my brothers and me in the car for a trip to Prospect Lake for swimming lessons. On the first day everyone would have to complete the skills test so that we could be put in the correct level, beginners, advanced beginners, intermediate and swimmers. After you graduated from the ‘swimmers’ level you could move on to life saving courses. My brothers and I loved to swim and we spent most days at the swimming hole behind our house practicing our dives and racing with other neighbourhood kids.
There was a huge slide at the lake that ended with a plunge into cool green water over twelve feet deep. My mom wouldn’t let us go down the slide until we had mastered advance beginners. Of course, being the youngest it took me the longest to reach that pinnacle of achievement. I still remember how I felt slipping down the long water coated metal slide, almost taking flight from the end to land butt first into the chilly but refreshing water. After sputtering to the surface, I swam to where I could stand and then raced back to the top for another quick ride down the slide again.
When my girls were young we had a pool in our backyard and I wanted them to be able to swim. I looked around our area but unlike when I was a kid no one was offering lessons at public lakes. I contacted the Red Cross to see what was available and discovered I could host lessons in my pool. I took the plunge, got the word out and before I knew it, for four summers, we had a certified instructor show up and give lessons to all who came. It was a blast and my girls went from guppies to dolphins.
As a kid I thought swimming lessons were a huge inconvenience but now I’ve discovered I miss those days of fun in the sun and water. It was a great way for this kid to have spent the summer.
Until next time,
I wish you happiness.