Thursday, September 9, 2010

The unoffical last day of summer.

It's bad enough that I've had a headache every day for a week now that's to fall allergies, but I think the worst part about autumn is the official closing of the swimming pools. Traditionally, it's a Labor Day event, a time to actively enjoy the last flip off the high dive, the last snorkel for lost treasures like hair barrettes and pennies, the last time you tump* your unsuspecting dad over on his raft, and the last day to just sit poolside in a floppy hat with a trashy vampire novel. Labor Day this year was no exception.

Except that I chose comfort over nostalgia this year, and barely even got my toes wet. It was cold, folks.

Lakeside is my pool of choice. (I understand it's a lucky birthright in my case. Let's not discuss pool memberships today.) Monday evening, I dropped by after teaching an afternoon of piano lessons -- the self-employed don't get holidays -- to enjoy one last evening by the pool. My mom's book club (they read smarter novels than vampire lit) had a picnic there, so I scavenged some vegan potato salad and watermelon before heading to the diving boards with FWT.

FWT reverts to boyhood when he is at the pool, ignoring the freezing cold water, and practicing his gainer-walkaround-squirrels off the high board, no matter how ugly or painful they turn out. It's funny to watch. Apparently, he's not the only one that loses twenty years on the last day of summer.

There was a revolt at the pool. The old folks' swim team (old as in ages 18-94) converged in the deep end for a massive game of Sharks and Minnows, and everyone else at the pool swam out to the floating island, climbing up and refusing to exit the pool when the lifeguards blew the final closing whistle of the season. It was organized anarchy -- an oxymoron, I know -- but they seem to play this game with the staff every year. It's not a place where one breaks the rules, so this refusal to get out of the pool was accompanied by wild laughter and a slight fear of getting in trouble. Even the chants of, "Heck no, we won't go," -- "heck" because it's a family establishment after all -- seemed to be chanted with the greatest respect.

It was a funny sight, but I don't like to break the rules. I watched the scene for a few minutes, but as soon as the staff got on the PA system and said, "Seriously, folks, you have to get out of the water. It's dark. Our lifeguards can't see you. Let's keep this place fun," I went home.

And really, I'm okay with summer coming to an end. I don't like the winter, but this summer has been terribly distracting. With summer music festivals, vacations, friends having babies, my garden going crazy, the diving boards calling, it's hard to get much work done in the summertime. I like the focus of the new year (L'Shana Tova, everyone), and I've got some exciting things to look forward to this fall. Now if only I could find the right allergy medicine and this headache would go away.

*"tump" is a Southern word. Please use logic and context to infer its meaning.

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