Springtime is trickling into the Pacific Northwest — with sunbursts between raindrops. The days lengthen as sunset arcs toward 10 p.m.
I love this time of year. It means summer is coming — and summer in Seattle is a beauty.
But there’s one thing I really miss about summers here:
As summer approached as a kid, I would daydream about which pool I wanted to jump into first. I would examine my pool options, imagining the perfect concrete-to-grass-to-foliage ratio. Too many trees make shadows in the pool. Too much concrete makes the pool area uninviting.
The perfect pool experience means a blue pool liner (no cement!), surrounded by white concrete, which is surrounded by green grass, which is surrounded by trees. I liked the shouting and bustling, see-and-be-seen scene, of public pools.
My family did not have a pool — so I made sure to be friends with the kids who did. I maintained several options to spice up a long summer. And I was particular about which pools I wanted to swim in — I may have been a beggar, but oh yes, I was also a chooser.
Among my dozen choices was the Hazlet Swim and Tennis Club, which we all called “the pool club” and cost $4 if my aunt took me, there was the twin’s pool, which was big and in-ground and just across the street, there were the salt-water pools along the Jersey shore, and there was my cousin Ray Ray’s pool, which was above-ground and four-feet deep in the middle and came with the bonus of making trouble with my cousin.
Each year for my birthday, at the top of my wish list, I wrote, “pool.” But my parents said that pools were too much work — you’ve got to PH balance them and skim them and empty the filter and clean the algae off the sides. I offered to clean my neighbor’s pool in exchange for being allowed to come over and swim.
Seattle’s 70-degree summers feel so far removed from goggles and swimmies and noodles and lifeguard whistles. As I pondered this today, my heart longed once again for a pool. Or maybe I’m just nostalgic about a time when the thing I wanted most, with my whole heart and body, was to jump into a refreshing blue pool.