Every summer when we were young, from the moment my brother, sister, and I got out of school, we would beg our parents for a pool. It was always so hot here in Georgia, and to us, a pool seemed to be the best place to spend a summer.
And we didn’t want one of those flimsy inflatable baby pools you would fill up with a waterhose while it sat on your patio. No sirree…we wanted the real deal…a big in-ground pool. (So much better than running through the sprinkler!)
I knew our home would be THE social place if we just had a pool. Our friends would hang out there all summer long. We would have the best parties in town. My August birthday party would be the highlight of the season! (That’s what a pool does for you, right?)
But our parents always said “No, it’s too much upkeep.” How could they wreck my social life plans like that?? But we continued to pester and beg and plead. So our mom did the next best thing. She got us a membership in a local club’s pool. It had a long and fancy name, but we just called it…
In the eyes of an 8 year old, The pool seemed huge – with 2 slides and a diving board…and best of all, a whole bunch of my school friends also went there to swim! (Imagine that!!) My mother would load the 3 of us up in her Chevrolet along with a bag of unshelled butterbeans, some newspaper, and a big bowl. Then off we’d go for the day.
When we got there, we would hop out of that car and make our way to a table with a striped umbrella above it, plop our towels on it, and then gingerly make our way down the steps in the shallow end – one step at a time – freezing our little bottoms off the whole way! (You know how that feels.)
We would splash, play Marco Polo, and swim for hours, while our mother sat under that umbrella shelling butter beans and chatting with her friends who would show up at The pool – their own children in tow behind them.
When our tummies would begin to growl, we would climb out of that cold water, quickly scurry over to the mothers, and wrap ourselves in towels. They would give us coins, and dripping wet we made our way to the concession stand at The pool.
Now this was one of our favorite parts of going there! That little room was like Heaven to our gang. It had shelves full of assorted chips, a cooler of drinks, and best of all – a freezer with yummy ice cream treats – ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, frozen Nestle Crunch bars, Drumsticks, Fudgsicles, Klondike bars, and the one I would always choose…the Creamsicle…- that delicious duo of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream…mmm.
(Can you taste it??)
After making our selections and handing over our money to the lifeguard, we would sit shivering on an old wooden bench, wrapped in our towels, enjoying every little bite of our snacks. Then we would wait the lifeguard-required 30 minutes before jumping back in the water – this time cannonball style. (Much faster than making our way down the steps again, right?)
And so went our childhood days at the pool. Our hair became bleached summer blonde while our skin turned that lovely golden shade of bronze…and our parents never did put in a pool.
So when I started college, where did I head the first hot days of my freshman year? Why to the college pool of course. I would go to my classes, do my job in the dean’s office, and then head over to swim several afternoons a week . And my college even had a swimming requirement. (Those folks knew what was important!)
It felt so professional to swim there. For the first time I was swimming in a pool that had…lanes! Not that I was competitive or anything like that, it was just to cool off and have fun…and work up an appetite!
I can remember one evening after swimming for a while, I returned to my dorm room soooo famished, I ate an entire package of Oreos in one sitting! ( Oh for the days when I weighed 98 lbs. soaking wet…!)
And now fast forward…Years later came marriage and children – children who asked their parents for… a pool. The yard in our first home did not have room for one. There were way too many gorgeous old trees – including a beautiful massive old hickory (that seemed to drop nuts all the time!) So we, as parents, said No, not now.
Fast forward again to this house. Our current home has a yard that has not just one, but two spots that would be perfect for a pool. We even had a pool builder (Is that what you call them?) come to the house, look at the locations, and give us an estimate.
Too expensive for our budget at the time. So again we said no to our children (and ourselves as well.)
But my husband did the next best thing.
He built a deck in our back yard strong enough to hold the weight of a pool. (It really helps that he is an engineer.) And we put an above ground pool on that deck for a number of summers.
Summers when our children would skip through the house, grab a towel off a shelf, run through the porch yelling, ” We’re going out to the pool,” slamming the screen door behind them. Summers when their hair turned bleach blonde and their skin turned golden bronze. Summers when the August birthday children had pool parties to celebrate those birthdays.
I did not have fresh butterbeans to shell while watching my children like my mother did while keeping up with us, but I did have magazines and novels to read while sitting under the whirling blades of a ceiling fan on our screened porch…keeping an eye on our kiddos while they splashed about and played Marco Polo.
New England Home May/June 2008
Those summer days are long gone now. The pool I enjoyed as a child has been closed for many years. Our deck pool has been taken down. Our sons prefer being in a river or lake over swimming in a pool, and our daughter would rather “lay out” and work on her tan now. But I, on the other hand, would rather be on a float in that cold water. So here is the pool I am currently enjoying this summer.
But I still wish we had one in our own backyard. I would love the one 4 photos up (with the little boy in it.) It looks small enough to be manageable but still refreshing (and maybe affordable?)
Maybe one day…
So I hope you have enjoyed all the pool eye candy here today, and I hope you are having a fun summer with time to relax and splash about. I’ve been wondering…Do you have a pool at your house? If so, how much time does it take to keep it up? Would you do it again if you had the choice, and would you buy a house if it had a pool in the yard? I’d love to know.
Until next time…
p.s. I forgot to tell you something!…I am still in the land of techno troubles…brand new computer here with a touch screen that I am having a devil of time figuring out how to use. I also have not been able to add Talk of the House email to it, so there are plenty of things to do and learn! Oh, and there is still NO internet at the house..so again I am doing a post away from there. (I think we put the cart before the horse on this one!) Anyway, please be patient with my slowness as I am learning how to use this thing!