Most everyone remembers their first bike. Or their first car. Certainly, their first kiss.
But does anyone besides me remember their first swimming pool?
It wasn't big or fancy -- just a typical backyard blow-up kiddy pool...round, red white and blue stripes...held about four inches of water, or so it seemed...freezing cold water right out of the garden hose. I felt pretty darn special donning my red two-piece bathing suit my grandparents bought me one summer day when I was little, followed by a couple of hours of splashing about in my very own pool. Ahhh...summertime, and poolside livin' was easy...
Of course, "poolside livin'" took on a whole new meaning two doors down where I remember spending many a hot Cincinnati summer afternoon cooling off in my best friend's pool.
Valli's pool was bigger than mine...rectangular, green, held a lot more freezing cold water and sported a groovy seat at each of its four corners. We could fit a lot more kids in her pool, too.
I felt like a Hollywood movie star the summer my dad surprised us by buying one of those large, round, blue pools -- about 10 ft. in diameter. Yeah, it was all fun and games till one of the neighborhood hoodlums decided to throw a large rock in the pool, tearing the liner and shutting down our little backyard oasis for the rest of the summer.
Thank goodness for Plan B. Valli happened to belong to the local swim club, and, being her best friend, she often invited me to go there with her. Talk about a couple of swimming pool princesses! We had it made. Underwater tea parties, hours of playing Marco Polo, a chance to see lots of our friends and -- as we reached adolescence -- plenty of dreamy lifeguards! Oh, the secret crushes!
By the time we were in high school, all we needed to make us happy at the swim club June through August was a good beach towel, a bottle of Sun In hair lightener and plenty of Coppertone. Oh yeah...and money for the concession stand. We hadn't a care in the world...except how to catch the eye of the aforementioned dreamy lifeguards.
These days, my favorite swimming pool is the comfortably heated one nestled among the trees and flowers in the backyard of my dear life-long friend, Linda, in beautiful Blue Ash, OH.
For so many summers now, that pool has served as my vacay get-away. Music, margaritas and plenty of relaxation, reminiscing, friendship and laughter is all we need to make us happy. Possibly a handsome cabanna boy serving us our margaritas. But I digress.
Yes, since I can remember, swimming pools have always held a special place in my heart...bathing suits -- of late, anyway -- not so much. But that, my friends, is blog fodder for another day.