In upstate New York, the temperatures on Sunday were hovering in the high 80’s. I needed to cool off after that early morning spin class, so I ventured to the town pool. It was the best $8.00 I have spent for my soul in long time. With Jack on the verge of leaving for Alabama and the feeling of bygone days, this is just what the doctor ordered.
Upon entering, there is a huge sign that says Niskayuna Residents Only- Picture ID Required yet the ‘kids’ seem to know many of us by name, face, or “Aren’t you Jack’s mom?”
I took my chair and beach bag and found a spot facing the sun and the pool and that is when the view from that vantage point began to fuel my soul:
- The sound of June bugs mixed with kids’ laughter and screams, coupled with the smell of Coppertone, greeted me from the pool deck telling me summertime was in full swing.
- There were families here, big families with grandparents keeping an eye out over kids wearing goggles yelling Marco! Polo! In the deep end. I spied a few of those grandparents slipping the kids a few dollars for ice cream.
- Kids of all ages were doing handstands like we used to try to do and challenging each other to hold their breath.
- Off the diving board flopped a few dads, a couple of jack knives and the straggly young kid with skinny limbs who is the absolute funniest to watch.
- There is always that methodical lane swimmer who yields to no one and appears like they could swim laps forever.
- At the table in front of me, an older couple, I would venture in their early 80’s, were playing Scrabble and it seemed that the husband was a word smith because I heard him say to her with a smile, “Are you ready to lose another?” It reminded me of playing backgammon with Chip on our honeymoon in ‘international waters’ making me the world champion!
- And the snack bar did not disappoint with Nutty Buddies, chips, Coke, and assorted candy. An old man was in a nirvanic state sitting in the shade with ice cream. His belly told me that this was not just a treat for the pool today but perhaps a regular occurrence. He tipped his hat and gave me a smile.
I took my place in the pool among the other tankini-swim skirt clad moms and smiled at the views around us. We made some small talk about the heat, the perfect temperature of the pool and the impending storms that may hit this week. I returned to my chair and finished up the book I was reading. Jack called and needed my car, so I took one more lap in the pool and a final look around.
Overall, an enjoyable time was had by all. I left there a little lighter in thought and ready to face the week ahead.