Saturday, July 02, 2005

The pool experience

When I was a little girl growing up in Social Circle, GA, there were four pools that I spent considerable time in. The primary one was attached to the Bertha Upshaw Clubhouse, now the Blue Willow Inn. My sisters and I walked the four blocks or so from our house to the pool almost every day. I remember the smell of chlorine and how it turned the blonde girls' hair a shocking green. I remember the taste of Fritos and Fresca -- why I chose to like a diet soda at such a tender age, I'll never know. I didn't drink it because it was low in calories, I drank it because it tasted good to me. Weird kid.

The second pool was at my friend Angie's house. Her family was well off, and I remember marveling at their many toys, from minibikes to a trampoline. Their pool was indoors, with a motorized roof that opened to let the sun in. In Angie's pool I could practice diving, secure in the knowledge that she was about as adept as I. She wouldn't laugh at my inadvertent bellyflops.

Then there was the pool at Fairington Golf and Tennis Club near Atlanta. Mama worked as the secretary for the director of food services there, and I spent one summer taking tennis lessons (and finding out I was really bad at tennis) and splashing in the pool for hours. I loved the deep end and joyfully leaping off the high diving board when Mama wasn't watching. She wouldn't have allowed me if she were around to watch.

And finally, there was the pool that belonged to the Conways. Mr. Conway was a pilot for Delta and had the most beautiful toothy smile. They had a lot of kids -- seven, maybe? -- so their pool was perpetually full of children of all ages, invited by whichever Conway child was closest in age. I was older when I swam in the Conways' pool, and I remember wearing my first grown up bikini and being self conscious about whether the boys were looking. Mrs. Conway assured me they were, and then I think Mama "lost" the bikini.

So now here I am thirty or so years later. I haven't spent much time in pools since my childhood. We took a trip to Edisto Island over a decade ago, so I swam in the ocean then. We went on a cruise in 2002, and I got a swimsuit for that trip. Aside from that, though, I've not had the opportunity (or the inclination) to do much swimming. When we started looking for a house in Las Vegas, though, one of the first ones we saw had a pool. I was sold. We needed a pool. A pool in Vegas was just about the coolest thing I could imagine. We looked at plenty of houses without a pool, but the one that appealed to us the most had a pool and a spa and a sprawling quarter acre lot -- almost unheard of in Las Vegas.

The pool is just as cool as I thought it would be. The temperature today is well over the century mark, somewhere just shy of 110, according to the thermometer on the patio. I spent about 45 minutes in the pool today, just floating around and almost dozing off. The water is as warm as bathwater, and I'm getting a little bit of a tan, something else that's eluded me for a few decades. Paul and I like to turn on the spa on weekend nights and gaze at the stars. (We can locate Orion and the Big Dipper, but the beacon from the Luxor is in a much more predictable location.)

It was a difficult decision to pick up and move from my Tennessee home to the big city of Las Vegas, but I've recaptured one joy from my youth: I can swim in my pool. I wouldn't be caught dead in a bikini and don't care whether any boys are looking. And not even Angie is here to see my bellyflops.


At 7/04/2005 10:16 PM, Blogger Shirazi said...

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