Musings from Quince


Remembrance of Pools Past
July 19, 2010, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Seasonal | Tags: , , , ,

Time Warp!

Here we are in the thick of summer, with days averaging in the 90’s, and the humidity right on up there.  What better way to cool off than a dip (quick or lengthy) in the pool?  Of course, it helps if you HAVE a pool, but many of us don’t, though some of us are fortunate enough to have friends with pools….of course, there’s always the athletic club pool and public pool, but there’s something special about hanging out at a friends’ pool, especially with a fun group, zillions of bottles of wine and champagne, platters of delicious food (some healthier than others), soft fluffy towels, and an adorable gazebo/changing area to boot…not to mention assorted chaise lounges, umbrellas galore, and plenty of seating on teak benches and tables…..a friend of mine has been threatening to put in a pool for quite sometime, and this year she actually did it!

Mighty Close to Eden, c.2010

  Jumping in her pool serves as a catalyst for a trip back in time, where growing up in Miami, we had a pool, which back in the late 50’s, was still slightly novel.  I was about 6 at the time, and I remember my swimming lessons in that pool like it was yesterday.  Within a relatively short time, I sprouted gills and essentially spent every waking free moment playing in that pool – it had a very deep end, and friends from the neighborhood would descend, and we’d spend so much time in the water that eventually we turned into puckery prunes, with bright red bloodshot eyes, and chlorine-bleached hair. Can-opener? Watch out…Watermelon? No problem! Cannonball? Bring it on!

Aaahh, time for a dip!

Our family really enjoyed the pool and patio….the terrazzo tile was really slippery, so we had to be careful, but it was always the epicenter for entertaining, etc.  The patio was screened in, so it was easy to barbeque and have food around, without being bombarded by flies and mosquitos.  My step-mother, Julia, reigned supreme when it came to whipping up the most delicious meals ever….steaks on the grill, Florida lobster (crawfish), stone crab claws, it went on and on.  And some Sunday mornings, she’d do pancakes and we’d sit outside….those were the days.  My sister, Karen, celebrated her birthday one year when she was in high school shortly after the pool was completed….I remember about 50 kids showed up, and she walked them AROUND the pool (no one got in?!) like it was some sort of mysterious watering hole. However, this was in January, and sometimes it actually became a bit too chilly for a swim.  Did I also mention we had an entire row of key lime trees on one whole side of the pool which provided an endless year around supply of limes for limeade, pies, etc.  Yes!  Was I lucky, or what!

Full Service Gazebo

Anyway, what I find so amazing is that after that first plunge, all the frustrations of the day seem to melt away and all of a sudden you’re engrossed in heavy discussions with really smart people (seriously!) about what George Clooney is up to, or what Chelsea’s wedding dress will look like.  And most importantly, who’s going to refill the wine glasses (or flutes) next time around…and BTW, that little gazebo/cabana houses a changing room, mini-kitchen, a fully stocked large fridge, a large basket of assorted sun blocks for your choosing, and everything else you could possibly need to make your afternoon dip the highlight of your day.  I for one, feel very fortunate  not having to resort to the garden hose and sprinkler in the back yard this year!

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10 Comments so far
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I hope you have Glen and Barbie’s e-mail and have sent them copies of this so we can all remember the fun times in our pool. Was it really that many years ago? Wish we could jump in now.

Comment by karen

Wish I knew where they were! I remember when Julia called in the neighbors to watch you take me down to the deep end for the first time….glad you didn’t dunk me!

Comment by sharonmanering

That pool is beautiful!! I am jealous. It is 94 degrees in NC now!!!

Comment by Jamey

You can always set up a kiddie pool in the back and splash around!!

Comment by sharonmanering

That is the pool that will forever bring the following image to my mind…

Hot summer day…we could barely wait to jump into that pool to cool off. Before we even checked out the water one of us jumped in…with a zillion black things swimming in the same pool. Yikes! Tadpoles. One of us got out immediately and the other never made it into the water that day.

Comment by marsha wells

Was that after we biked from Toledo all the way over to Venetia? I don’t remember the tadpoles, but I’m not surprised….at least it wasn’t water moccasins or alligators!

Comment by sharonmanering

Could I get into an afternoon of this or what… especially the little Gazebo/Cabana!! Lovely – just Lovely!!!!!!

Comment by Althea

You know where we’ll be during your next visit!

Comment by sharonmanering

What an absolutely beautiful ‘water compound’ your friend has. She’s going to have to watch out or people could start glomming on to her so that they can hang out by this magnificent cement pond. Magazine-worthy.
As always, I loved these musings. Our childhoods were quite disparate when it came to agua. While you had a pool, I went to a pool. While you had lime and lemon trees surrounding yours, ours had a high chain-link fence, to keep non-members OUT. You had the pool to yourself; I had to wait through ‘adult swims’ that every club seems to employ to keep the old ladies in hideous bathing caps quiet. You could run around your pool if you had that urge; I risked being benched if I did so.
But somehow I think we were probably both playing “Marco Polo”…you in Miami and me in Richmond! Wish I’d known you then. I’d have invited myself over!

Comment by 50andfeisty

Per usual, your comments are amazing….I had forgotten about those terrible bathing caps with the stretchy chin straps which snapped on both sides….hideous! We only had to wear those when swimming at “The Club”….that’s another blog entry in itself…keep cool, chica!

Comment by sharonmanering




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