Like Old Times

I went for a swim last night. It was my first real swim in over three years, and I relished every stroke.

Studly Doright and I had a pool once, back when we lived in Melbourne, Florida. Our backyard there was perfect for a small in-ground pool, and I swam almost every day all year round. When we moved to Illinois we didn’t even consider adding a pool to our property, but I’d hoped we’d have one if we ever returned to the Sunshine State.

We’ve been in the Tallahassee area for more than five years now, and I’ve given up on having a pool of my own. The backyard here at Doright Manor isn’t conducive to a pool–the ground slopes down to the lake and the expense to shore it up in addition to that of building a lanai around it, wouldn’t be practical at this stage in our lives. Studly would like to retire at some point, and I can’t say I blame him. Still, I miss swimming.

Tallahassee has some fine city parks with pools, though, and last night I decided to join one of the water aerobics classes at the park nearest my home. Slipping into the water felt like coming home, and I patiently went through the exercises as our instructor led the way. Then, glory of glories, she had us swim a couple of laps. I was afraid I wouldn’t remember how, or wouldn’t be able to make one lap, let alone two.

But I was good. Smooth and easy like I’d never stopped swimming. I fantasized that the young lifeguard on duty might stop me as I left the pool and compliment me on my form. Perhaps, I thought, he might ask if I’d ever competed in high school or even college. I’d have blushed and told him no, then thanked him for the compliment. For the record, he didn’t single me out for special recognition. I’ll just have to work harder next time.

Tomorrow my muscles will likely be a little sore, but I’ll relish the pain. I can’t wait for the next time.

Peace, people!

What a Great Day!

Monday was about as perfect as a day could be. I’m too pooped to write much, so instead, using a series of bullet points and emojis, I’ll share my experiences:

  • Dressed in my πŸ‘™ and a long πŸ‘š
  • Drove to the post office to mail two πŸ“¦ πŸ“¦
  • Cast a πŸ—³ for Gwen Graham for Florida’s governor in the Democratic primary
  • Drove to St. George Island 🌴
  • Ate yummy scallops at the Blue Parrot 🌊
  • Set up a chair on the πŸ–
  • Watched 🐬 🐬 frolic in the 🌊 🌊
  • Ran into πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ from Tallahassee on the πŸ–
  • They gave me a bottle of πŸ’¦
  • Visited with a nice lady from Georgia who shared her β˜‚ with me
  • Got a bit of 🌞 on my lily white skin.
    Ate 🍦on the way home
    Showered and petted two anxious 🐱 🐈 upon returning 🏠
    Getting ready to eat dinner with a🍴
    Really must go now, so I can chow down, but there’s no emoji for leaving. There is for πŸ‘‹πŸ» πŸ‘‹πŸ», though.
    ✌️ , people!

Swimming With Beasts

A few nights ago I had a dream in which Studly Doright and I had taken our kids and grandkids on a trip to an indoor pool. The pool was huge, larger even than Olympic sized, but that wasn’t the oddest thing about it. As we walked around we realized that large animals were swimming with people in the pool.

There were lions and sharks, alligators and tigers swimming menacingly, seeming to stalk the humans who’d risked their necks to join in the activity. I was appalled, but everyone else in our family group began to jump in. My youngest granddaughter and her dad raced a cheetah to the side of the pool, narrowly missing becoming a snack for the feline.

I was pacing up and down urging everyone to get out of the pool before it was too late, but they all just pooh-poohed my concerns. A shrill blast from the lifeguard’s whistle signaled that it was time for a change in animals, so all of the humans were herded into cages while the pool was cleaned and the new animals emerged.

This time there were elephants and polar bears, llamas and giraffes in the pool. I found myself tempted to enter the water figuring it might be my only chance to swim with an elephant. Just before I took the plunge Studly Doright awakened me to lean over and kiss me goodbye before heading off to work.

“Whoa!” I mumbled. “I thought you were a polar bear.”

He didn’t bat an eye, responding, “That’s because I’m so chill.”

Peace, people.

Back in the Swim

About a year ago I was into swimming every morning at one of the city of Tallahassee’s great pools. My chiropractor had suggested working out in a heated pool as a comfortable way to stretch my less than athletically fit body. The workout was fun and after a month of water exercise my back felt better than it had in ages.

Then one morning my car, along with several others, was broken into while I was swimming. After smashing my driver’s side window, the thieves took my favorite handbag–one I’d bought in Guatemala–along with my credit cards, some cash, my identification, and even my passport. I’d always heard victims of robbery say they’d felt violated, but I never understood the meaning until I was faced with the reality myself. 

I didn’t feel safe anymore. My nerves were shot and I was almost too jumpy to drive for awhile. Forget returning to the pool. It held too many scary thoughts. For one thing, there’s really not a great place to leave one’s handbag or cellphone at the pool. Yes, there are lockers, but one can’t put a lock on one. It didn’t feel safe to keep my valuables in a bag poolside, either. Anyone could walk by and snatch it while I swam.

A few days ago I got the idea that perhaps someone out there sold waterproof packs that one could wear during swimming. A simple search of Google and voilΓ ! I have a pair of waterproof pouches.


Made by Blue Sky Basics, the packs have enough space for my oversized cell phone, keys, and a wallet with room to spare. I can even pack my Kindle paperwhite if I so desire. Waterproofing is accomplished with multiple redundancies, including triple ziplock seals. 


An extra long adjustable strap allows the user to wear the pack around the his/her waist while swimming. I can’t wait to try the packs out!

Here’s the friendly customer service email I received from Blue Sky Basics. I thought it was a nice touch.

“Hello Leslie, 

Thank you so much for your order! 

We’re really happy an awesome person like you will soon be using our Waterproof Pouch with Waist Strap 2-Pack to keep your phone and valuables safe and dry! 

When you do, please go ahead and test out your new waterproof pouches at home so you can set off on your next aquatic adventure with total peace of mind! Simple instructions are included in the packaging. 

We’ve got you covered with our 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee . If, for any reason, you are not delighted, you can easily let me know by replying to this email. 
We will be happy to replace it for you absolutely free or assist you with a refund if you prefer. That’s our promise to you. 
As a small family-run business, we’re big on customer service and truly want you to be happy with your purchase. 
Thanks again and happy adventures! 
Warmest regards, 
Chris Hoaldridge, Co-founder, Blue Sky Basics”

Here’s their contact information if you’re interested. I have no agreement with Blue Sky Basics, and will receive no compensation for my endorsement of their product. 


Peace, people!

 

Swim with Me

Childhood memories of swimming embossed on black and white slides on a Kodak carousel

Projector. Mom posed in sepia tones next to lipsticked friends showing long legs and

Shy facade. Burgeoning freedom from tired stereotypes of the matronly figure.

My beautiful mother, cigarette in hand, defied the trope. Once divorced, then
Remarried,

Tall and curvaceous with a smile for the ages, yet too self-concious to
swim in

Public. Every time I don my lycra swimsuit I see her in my mind. Gorgeous, like me.

Learning to Swim

I learned to swim underwater, emulating Flipper, long before mastering the

Australian Crawl or butterfly. My daddy insisted that I practice more conventional

Strokes, but I knew that mermaids and the fishes cared nothing for such

Artifice, preferring instead a supple undulation of fins to any manipulation

Of useless arms. I eschewed splashing in favor of rhythmic kicks and leg extensions 

Gliding beneath the surface with measured breaths to surface giddy with freedom.

  

May I Have a Do-Over?

I went swimming this morning in Tallahassee. The skies were a bright blue with a few fluffy clouds to keep it from being too perfect. Another day in paradise, right?

My friends Barbara and Irena came about fifteen minutes after I’d begun my imaginative water ballet in the deep end of the pool at Trousdale Aquatic Center. When they’re present we chat about wine and books as we paddle from one side of the pool to the other. When they’re absent I pretend I’m a mermaid, so for a quarter of an hour I was in another world altogether. 

We had a swell time today and even made plans for wine and cake on Friday. After an hour of frolicking I bid the ladies adieu and headed to the showers. It didn’t take long for me to get squeaky clean, and soon I was ready to go in search of food. 

A lady I don’t know came into the locker room as I was leaving. “Did you hear? Shirley’s car was broken into.”

Now I do not know Shirley, but my sympathy was instant and sincere. Like an idiot I asked, “Here? In the parking lot?” 

“Yes,” she responded. “They smashed her window and took her purse.”

My heart sank. I’d left my purse under the seat of my car. I hurried out to the parking lot, but didn’t have to walk far in order to see that my driver’s side window had been broken. 

Glass covered the seat and floorboard of my Mazda. I cussed. Like a salty old sailor. Then I went to see if the police were already on their way. Four other cars had also been broken into and purses taken from every one. The police officers were efficient, but not very reassuring.

Apparently a group of enterprising thieves in our area targets cars in the parking lots of swimming pools and fitness centers and movie theaters knowing that their owners will be busy for quite awhile. They sure had a nice payday on this one.

It took me the better part of an hour to clear the glass out of my seat so I could drive without poking holes in my buttocks. Even then I pricked my hand on a sliver embedded in my steering wheel.

I spent the remainder of my day canceling credit cards, calling the department of state to notify them that my passport had been stolen, and the IRS to report that our measly little refund check was in the hands of ne’er-do-wells.

Thank goodness I didn’t have my social security card in my wallet. That was the one bright spot of the day. Probably the thing that bummed me the most was that they stole the beautiful bag that I purchased on my trip to Guatemala. 

So I want a do-over. I want to go to bed like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” and wake up to the sound of Sonny and Cher singing I Got You Babe. It could happen. Right?

Thanks for listening. 

Peace, people.