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She Wants to Make a Splash ó In Her Backyard

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


Iím enjoying the heat. Itís late spring, and weíve hit over 90 degrees, and Iím happy with it. Iím also happy with the sun. Iíve got a garden, and Iím growing tomatoes, and theyíre enjoying it.

To me, thereís nothing worse than a cloudy, cool summer. That was last summer, and I didnít go swimming once. It was just too freakiní cold for me. The only time it seemed to warm up, it was the first week of August. Which is when the pools close. It wasnít enough, and it certainly wasnít enough to save my tomatoes.

Besides, I like swimming outside. I bring a book with me, read, sun, and then when rest period starts, I jump in. The water feels cold, but I soon get used to it, and Iím swimming my laps. True, it doesnít seem like I swim a lot, but I do hop in the pool with everyone else to cool off. But I like rest period. Fewer people, and hardly anyone is swimming laps. I do have to contend with people dangling their legs in the water, or just standing there, oblivious that theyíre in the lap lanes. Why I have to avoid them, I donít know. THEY need to get out of MY way.

I canít control the weather at all, nor can I control the public pool schedules, so thatís why I want a swimming pool. I figure itís either one or the other. I want the ability to come home after work and plunge into my very own pool and swim laps and/or float around without having some idiot blocking me, or accidentally kicking me in the stomachóor face. I want to be able to go swimming after I get off work, whether itís 6 p.m. or 12 a.m.

I want to be able to open up the pool in mid-May, if the weather warrants it. If we have an exceptionally hot September and October, I want to be able to swim. With the schools opening what seems like earlier and earlier each year, closing the pool the first week of August is ridiculous, but I understand why itís necessary. I miss the old days, when school started AFTER Labor Day.

And since Iím a control freak (which has only gotten worse since Iíve gotten older), Iím doing whatever makes me happy. And swimming makes me happy. It gives me the kind of workout that makes me feel mellow. I feel cleansed. Itís a feeling that I donít have very often, to be honest. Sometimes, it really is the little things in life.

I know having a pool is work. I know that. I still want one. Iím pricing pools, and I think I know which one I want. I like swimming laps, so I want something thatís oval, or rectangular. I want something above ground. Iíd adore an in-ground pool, but with the tree roots in my backyard, the cost of the pool and digging the hole for it would probably cost more than my house is worth. Iím terrible with money, but even I know that would be an incredibly stupid investment.

Whatís torture is seeing the unused pool in my neighborís backyard. Every day, I look out, and there it is. Round, partially filled, probably full of algae and God knows what, and empty of people. I know there are school-aged children in the household, yet I hardly ever see them out in the yard. I think they were in the pool once last summer, if that.
It continues. Day after day after day, the pool goes unused, taunting me. Iím tempted to knock on their door and ask if thereís anything wrong with the pool, and if not, offer them $200 for it. True, itís round, not oval, but it would be a pool. I could swim short laps. I could also rig something up so I could swim, but stay in place. My mother was MacGyver before MacGyver, and Iíve inherited a little of the knack. I could figure out something, I just know it.

Or, I might just hold out for a brand-new pool. I can see it now, a huge, sparkling turquoise oasis that is ALL MINE. Ready to use. At 6 p.m. or the witching hour.

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