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The pool

I love going to the pool! Lying out by that beautiful blue water, smelling suntan lotion and a slight wif of chlorine, getting so hot that I have to get in the water. There I can float or use my kick board to get a little exercise. And don’t forget that summer novel, an ice cold drink, and meeting someone new.

When we were growing up, we went to the lake every week, and we never had a pool membership.

When the girls came along, I wanted a pool membership! After one summer in a public pool, another in my mother-in-laws’ subdivision pool, we bought our own membership to a pool about ten minutes from our home. Two of the girls had taken swim lessons there.

I can’t believe this, but I really did make homemade cookies and heated hotdogs in the morning. The girls were each responsible for their own bag, with a towel and sunscreen and anything else they wanted to take. We all had our suits, coverups, and flip flops on and we were out the door.

Our goal was to reach the pool by 10:00 so we could claim our loungers. We parked ourselves at the shallow end, because that was where the girls swam.

They were too young to be conscience of themselves, and they made lots of new swim buddies. We were close to the entrance, so we could see everyone who came in and greet our friends. The high dive and adult swim area was right in front of us. My youngest actually jumped off the high dive when she was six. (She is my adventurous daughter to this day.)

When they were older, the girls wanted to buy their lunches at the concession stand. I gave them a budget, and they spread that money as far as they could. We sat closer to the middle of the pool.

At this point, the girls were more aware of themselves. They still swam with a few friends, but mostly they stayed together, floating on blowup air mattresses, and taking some time to lay out and get some sun.

A few years went by, and the girls no longer wanted to go to the pool. Two were teens by this time, so I would leave everyone at home and go to the pool by myself. I chose a lounge chair at the deep end of the pool, read part of my book, floated and got some sun. I hated it. The first time I went, I actually shed a few tears behind my sunglasses. I knew it was the end of an era. I continued to have a membership and sometimes the girls would come to swim laps. A couple days before I had breast cancer surgery, I went and swam for the last time.

After my treatments, it was recommended that I go to a breast cancer water exercise group. All the girls were gone, so I was on my own. I joined the health club and participated in the classes.

The first day I went, I was surrounded by women older than  myself. I wondered how I had gotten to this point in my life so quickly!

I have belonged to another indoor/outdoor pool close to home for several years now so that I can exercise year-round. I can only exercise in the water because of my truncal lymphedema. This is a pool mostly for older people, with a grandchild every now and then. And you know, I am looking more like them every year.