June 12, 2005

Lazy Summer Afternoon

The heat wave here in Snowstorm Region continues. Since neither my home or car are air conditioned, the only thing to do on a hot humid day is find water somewhere. Yesterday, the kids and I spend the afternoon at Neighbors' House. These neighbors live about a mile away, right in the center of Train Track Village, and they have an above-ground pool.

The kids - my own, some extras, and the neighbor kids - spent the entire time in the water, splashing and playing games. Neighbor Woman and I went in and out of the water, and sat on the deck to watch the kids, talking the whole time. She and I went to high school together, the same high school Boy in Black currently attends.

It was a lazy summer afternoon. The kids were counting up how many days of school they had left. Philosophical Boy is graduating sixth grade and has to give a speech at the graduation ceremony on Thursday. Neighbor Guy and I reminisced about skiing last winter, and talked about camping in the mountains. Blonde Niece and Daughter compared their new bathing suits, bright-coloured bikinis. Spouse had decided to stay home and work in the empty quiet (but certainly not clean) house, but gave up eventually and came for a swim.

The first swim of the year always makes Neighbor Woman and I realize how much our kids have grown. The height of the water in the pool is about three feet and we used to have to supervise the kids very closely when it was over their heads. This year, for the first time, all the kids are tall enough to stand up. And besides, they can swim pretty well now. What a relief.

Yes, it is a relief that the kids don't need us as much any more, but it is also a little bittersweet. The pool gets smaller each year, as the kids turn into teenagers and then adults. Daughter has completed a year of college, and the next two kids - Boy in Black and Older Neighbor Boy - are not far behind her. Neighbor Woman and I both live in the community we grew up in; how many of these kids will make that same choice? These are the things we talked about as the sun got hotter. But soon I shook off those thoughts and joined the group of children in the pool. Summers are for splashing in cold water and enjoying the kids right now. And it's only June: we've got the whole summer ahead of us.

11 comments:

BrightStar said...

I am so confused. I think I read that you live in a house without A/C? That totally blows my mind.

The post made me want to go swimming. I don't know anyone with a pool around here. BOO. And the university pools are both indoor. what's the fun in that?

jo(e) said...

Brightstar: No, I don't have air conditioning. But I live in the northeast .... in a climate where air conditioning is a luxury, not a necessity.

We usually have one heat wave in June ... and then another one in August. But the temperature is comfortable for much of the summer.

Unless we get an unusally hot summer ....

Songbird said...

We do have some A/C: a unit in the attic, where the boys live, because a fan would not be enough; another in the dining room for the enormously hairy dogs. But neither of these spaces is used by me with any regularity!!
It's awfully humid here this morning, even before 8 a.m., and I am imagining going to a hotel.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

We are experiencing a heatwave, too (the same one?) Also, there has been no rain for three weeks until just this morning.

In Texas, neither this amount of heat nor the lack of rain would be remarkable or even noticiable. Every enclosed space is air conditioned, and every plot of land is irregated. Nothing but cotton and center pivot irregation systems unto the horizon.

Here, the farms are small and organic. I don't imagine that many irregate. Only the movie theater and big grocery store are air conditioned.

Fortunately, we own a car that we bought in the south. It has been very tempting to sit all day in the car, just for the air conditioning.

Yankee T said...

The time goes too fast...the kids grow up...
And I never had a/c in the Northeast, either, but I would insist on it if I moved back.

BrightStar said...

yes... I think I've become a bit spoiled such that some things I could think of as luxuries have become necessities in my head. I have slowly started to prefer fresh air over manufactured air, but I grew up on manufactured, air conditioned air, so it's taking a while.

jo(e) said...

Brightstar: You and I grew up in such opposite climates! Here, I would choose a fireplace over an air conditioner any day. We really don't get that many days above 90.

What you have to learn, if you are going to live in the northeast, is the art of complaining about the heat. It's really quite fun. I don't think anyone in my town has talked about anything else this past week. Hot days give us an outlet for all that whining.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Sounds idyllic! I haven't been swimming yet this year and am sitting in a stuffy, unbearably hot house trying to pack and clean and feeling logey and miserable. (Poor me, right!? LOL!)

I love your little vignettes. My life is so very different.

(No air conditoning here, either!)

Mona Buonanotte said...

"...we've got the whole summer ahead of us." Nothing thrills me more than hearing that phrase!

BrightStar said...

omg, jo(e)... did you know I spent $4,000 on an A/C for my new-to-me house last summer! :) I can't get away with complaining about "heat" in this region of the country and still be in the good graces of my family back in the desert!!! I said to my mom the other day, "It's getting up to 90 here!" And she laughed at me.

Overread said...

I really like the way you write. Your pace and phrasing are just wonderful.