Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Swimming Evolution


Swimming Evolution

As a child I swam 
with my brother and sister 
at the city pool.
It was our
summer vacation way
to keep cool.
.
At one o'clock
the gate would open.
The kids would file in.
Towels were spread out
on a patch of grass,
and the fun would begin.

We splashed, 
we swam, we played tag,
and we raced for plastic rings.
We dove 
for marbles, pennies,
and other shiny things.

At the top of the hour
the lifeguards 
would all blow their whistles loud.
We scrambled out of the water 
and to the snack bar,
trying to beat the crowd.

During the break, we dined like kings
on frozen candy bars
and potato chips.
We never once worried
that what crossed our lips
would pad our hips.

Now, when I swim,
it's in the pool
in my own back yard. 
I can swim any time I want.
I don't need a lifeguard
or a membership card.

But I dog paddle like an old lady--
partly floating on a pool noodle
to keep my head high,
because I want to leave my glasses on
so I can see,
and I want to keep my hair dry.

30 comments:

  1. I can picture all the fun! I loved those frozen candy bars on a stick. I went "swimming" last year at a public pool and thought I was in good shape until I tried to climb the ladder to get back out. Harder than it was as a kid!!

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  2. This poem reminded me of when my sisters and I would hang down at the park and swim all day... we used to swim half the day... as much as I love swimming I would probably dog paddle too and relax on a floaty... xox ... I hope you are enjoying the summer xox

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  3. wow - we must have hung out together. Every day at the pool. And back then - no sunscreen (I pay the price today with visits to the dermatologist). And yes, now if I want to see anything, I've got the glasses on. Absolutely perfect poem!!!

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  4. Wow, brings back so many memories of me doing the same. We mostly did ours in our own ole swimming hole but we sure made the memories. Love this. Thanks so much for the beautiful poem.

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  5. okay i think something strange is going on - we all had the same childhood!! Our particular swimming hole was called Covina Park - which I still as an adult like to walk around there and see the old houses that of course, I didn't pay attention to when I was a kid except to feel some strange moment of envy that some other kid was living in an upstairs bedroom (always wanted a 2 story house). Loved the poem and the fact that y ou have a pool now - lucky you. Last time I was in a pool was probably 2001!

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  6. and I bet you had a pond nearby within biking distance that you could go see some frogs. I did - and I cherish those days. Ours was about 2 miles by bike ride and my mom never bat an eye when we said we were going to go there - ...in 4th and 5th grade - can you imagine doing that alone now. Now you got me thinking. ...oh yes, our neighborhood was like Boo Radleys in To Kill a Mockingbird and we had a strange lady down the street. And we DID walk to school in the snow to the local Catholic church about a mile down the road ...Now I've got lots of ideas to sketch, lol..thanks for the memories.

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    1. We didn't have a pond, but there was a nearby creek and we rode our bikes there to play next to it. We would see an occasional frog there. :)

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  7. I love this poem, Connie. It brings back many childhood memories. This is a perfect poem for summer!

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  8. Lot's of fun and good memories

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  9. HA HA ---cute one, Connie... SO true---as we get older, so many things in our lives change... I won't do very many things which I used to do (such as riding on a roller coaster).... ha
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. No roller coasters for me either, Betsy! :D

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  10. I don't miss the work of my pool but this did bring back memories. We had neighborhood pools where I grew up. Open at 9 closed at 6 except on wed when the pool was cleaned. We had softball games and once a week we made a craft. We had a swing set and a slide and a merrigoround. Did we have fun!!! Hugs, LJ

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    1. There was a city park adjacent to the swimming pool where I went as a child. On breaks, we would sometimes go over there to swing on the swings and play on the slide. :)

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  11. I had no pool to swim in, only the creek, but what fun we had! This is a precious poem. Now I wouldn't swim anywhere in public ~ old woman figure you know.

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  12. I did more swimming in the ocean, Chesapeake Bay, and surrounding rivers than I did in pools when I was a kid, but the sentiments are the same. Swimming THEN is a lot different than swimming NOW. Fun poem!

    Have a super weekend!

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  13. Fantastic poem. You have beautifully mirrored the pure, unadulterated, instantaneous happiness and joy of children. This will never come back. As we grow older, we lose our ability to enjoy simple things in life and become over conscious about everything.

    If you give a small sweet to a little child it will be over joyed and if you give a large slab of chocolate to a grown up person, you will not see much happiness.

    Best wishes

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    1. Thank you, Joseph! Yes, we seem to miss out on so much as we get older.

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  14. What a lovely poem :) filled me with memories. I used to swim in the creek as a youngster.

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  15. This made me smile - especially that last few lines. Great memories.

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  16. What a delightful poem, and laugh out loud ending about the glasses. Your poetry speaks.

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  17. Gosh, Connie, this one is making me tear-up. I have such fond memories of childhood days with my siblings at the local pool - where we took swim lessons. My instructors were always cute boys (who I thought were men). Afterwards we got chocolate dipped ice-cream cones from a place next-door. Thank you for your mastery with words that took me back. I'm smiling.

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  18. Hi Connie, Cute poem and brings back fond memories. Your pool is so pretty and looks inviting. I never learned to swim but the little girl next door has a pool and it has been so hot, I am tempted to jump in. lol Happy Weekend.

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  19. Ha Connie.....your ending made me laugh! Love it

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  20. What a fun poem, Connie, and I especially liked the comparisons of how it was in the swimming pool then and NOW.

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  21. I don't remember a pool in particular because we moved so much it would have been a flash in the pan of my memory...but...I know we loved to swim. In the PCZ we could swim in the Pacific and Atlantic in one day- that was cool, but I remember the shark nets and how scared I was of getting eaten by one. Those were my earliest swimming memories. Now I am like you...I will dog paddle around, but no more dunking or getting my hair wet. Boy it kinda sucks to be a grown up sometimes!

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    1. Oh my! I don't think I would have liked swimming where there were shark nets! Yikes!

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  22. That brought back memories but mine were different. I always hated the chlorine, made my eyes burn. And the first time I took swimming lessons the instructor held my head under and I thought I would drown. Now I get in the shallow water but I never put my face in!

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  23. You want to keep your hair dry?? Ha!
    Love your poem, Connie, it's so descriptive and so similar to my pool experiences.

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  24. I also loved spending summers at the local swimming pool. We would also go on business trips with my dad, and my brother and I would race and play games in the water. Of course my mom would sit in the sun, and we knew what would happen if we dared to get her hair wet! This was such a fun poem filled with vivid memories, Connie! "We never once worried that what crossed our lips, would pad our hips." Love it!

    Julie

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  25. Thanks so much, everyone for your comments and for sharing your memories of swimming with me too. It was fun to read how your experiences were the same or different from mine.

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