More than a swimming pool

I always listened for the creaky gate to swing open. Kids walked or cruised down the steep hill bathed in shadowlight early in the morning. Music roused me as I stumbled to the bathroom, ran a brush through my hair and slipped into a swimsuit. I didn’t bother with shoes. I don’t remember if I said good-bye to my parents.

The stunning feature of my backyard was that just across the street a public pool was tucked into a space surrounded by tall oaks and maples. The rush of the highway nearby kept pace with chirping squirrels and chattering birds. The water was cool and deep. Round tables were adorned with unopened umbrellas and rows of lounge chairs were lined up in silent symmetry.

Swim practice brought shouts and groans and laughter, while meets brought joyful competition. Tears reflected both delight and disappointment. Just making it to the other side was a huge win for the littlest of swimmers. Dreams of glory could not be underestimated.

Romance seasoned the summertime sweetly.

High Point Pool was more than just a swimming pool.

It was a community.

A gathering spot for men, women and children aged 0 to 100.

A place where we learned to dive for pennies and prizes and tested ourselves physically day after day. We trusted and teased eachother. Thunderstorms couldn’t keep us away from a place where for a few months every year, we stayed outside for twelve straight hours and didn’t have a thing to do except play and gaze at the deep blue sky that wrapped itself around us like a warm and gentle cloak.

The scent of summertime is vanishing. You can’t make it stay. Blink twice and the sun has disappeared beneath the horizon, making the day a memory.

Winter beckons.

This week, Write on Edge challenged us to write with local brands and landmarks in mind. This excerpt revolves around a Falls Church favorite.

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14 thoughts on “More than a swimming pool

  1. Sandra tyler says:

    Wish our kids had more memories like that; just wiling away I scheduled summer hours.

  2. John Drain says:

    The games we played, the fun we had, the friendships forged, the memories made. It was the best time of our lives and we knew it. I long for the days of the wooden picnic tables covered with towels playing hearts and just being kids. It was our little Mayberry…nicely done!

  3. cait says:

    I could practically smell the chlorine! Your writing drew me straight in and I loved the piece.

    stopping by from the RED linkup

  4. This was wonderful. I just loved the line ‘romance seasoned the summertime sweetly’. You’re is the kind of piece that evokes fond summer memories of summer’s that we never wanted to end. Thank you for sharing.

  5. logyexpress says:

    This captured the spirit of the prompt so well and made me wistful for the days when summer wasn’t just a hotter 3 months of the year. Glad I clicked on this one at Write on Edge.

  6. Laura Jacomet Van Landingham says:

    It really was just that wonderful! Great memories and great friends!

  7. Kristen Healy says:

    So much fun! Fond memories. We really were there all day everyday.

    • skpadilla says:

      It’s true. I loved those summers. It was so great to see my boys swim every day for two weeks last month. Miles swam his first 50 (well, with a short break in between laps) and was diving off the low board so well — we don’t have diving boards out here so he was so excited! Hope you and yours are well!

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