*dog whine: er er errrrr*
One of these days, when I finally own a house, the first home improvement I'm doing is adding a pool. I LOVE to swim, and I think it would be worth all the cost and bother of chemicals, testing, cleaning, etc. just to have my own pool. Yes, my lovelies, it would.
Swimming was the one activity that everyone in my family enjoyed and was one of the few times when we were all happy. For most of my life, I lived in the log house in the knobs with my parents. Right within a few hundred feet of us was this huge, gorgeous man-made lake that was fed on natural cold springs. Our lovely wooden house had NO air conditioner (still doesn't) and the only way for all of us hot blooded people to survive was to take a daily trip to the lake during the sweaty Kentucky summers. When we first started going, it was owned by this weird old couple from Louisville, who had Yankee accents, and who hardly ever came down. They had one small wooden dock, that was slowly rotting away. As kids, we take a long run and leap off of it, hoping that we jumped far enough to avoid touching the slimy muddy bottom. For hours, we laze away in that lake, squeeling when we floated over the cold springs that shot freezing water through our suits. The radio would be on and we'd have swimming contests and treading water contests. I remember treading water once for 2 and 1/2 minutes while listening to some song off of "Short Circuit". I felt like the queen of the water.
Mom and Dad had invested in life vests early on for the whole family, because although it was a man-made lake, there were spots that went as deep as 50 feet underwater. I never wore mine for long. I would get in the water and then take off the vest, using it like a water husband propping up my head and arms as I floated on my back. I was gifted with being able to always float on water, "Fat floats" I'd say. My poor father though would always sink like a rock. He always wore his life vest.
Going to the lake was always a family favorite. Often we spend the day sweating and griping until we could convince everyone to get ready. We'd all pile into the van, dogs included, and drive down our hill and up the next one to the lake. We'd laugh at the dogs playing in the cat tails and try to avoid their shaking when we were all out and dry. In later years, that one wooden dock rotted completely away and the land was later bought by a local developer. Lucky for us, our family was gifted with the honor of being his stewards while away, and we treated ourselves to the lake some more. The new owner was a weekend do-it-yourselfer and soon built all new floating docks, complete with homemade adirondack chairs and footstools. I didn't leap off the dock now, but took the lazy older route of climbing down the ladder. I still played just the same however.
I can't tell you now how many imaginary boyfriends I dreamed about in those waters, nor can I tell you how many times we all scrambled to get out because one of us spotted a water snake. I couldn't even begin to imagine how many joints I'd smoked there, or how many times I swam it's lengths. I can tell you that it remains one of those simple pleasures of life, one that I have since shared with a new generation. Seeing Austin play in that lake was something that I never imagined. I believe it's those things that make the "getting there" in life so much better than the wishing.