According to me, summer is here, and then some.
For me, summer is when the temperature soars to over 80 F for a week.
Or in our case, over 90 degrees for several weeks.
Yup...when the old temperature reading hits 94 degrees everyday like it did last week, spring time is officially over and done with for another year.
In our neighborhood however, summer officially begins the first day that the neighborhood pool is open for business.
To get the pool, all we have to do is ride our bikes down the street one block, and then peddle on through the woods (about a five minute ride) and then go across a wooden bridge that spans the small bayou.
Once we get to the pool, we find a lounge chair in the shade, take a dip, and then kick back with a book or a magazine.
The pool even has adults only swim for part of every hour for the grown ups who don't want to dunk with the kiddie set.
We went to the pool yesterday, on a Saturday, at 4 pm and practically had the pool to ourselves.
Clever idea, wish I had thought of it when I had tadpole sized kids.
On the other side of the fence is a wonderful playground.
No one was playing there at all.
It amazes me how blessed we are with things for kids to do, compared to the rest of the world.
I wished I could have magically transported kids from trouble places for a day of fun with us.
What a pity to have a playground like this and yet there be no one there to enjoy it!
The blue water slides at the side of the pool was a new feature for this season.
We asked the teenage lifeguard if adults could go down the slides too.
He said yes.
Bernie was busy swimming laps when I decided it was time to give the slides a whirl.
I carefully climbed the steps up to the opening of the straight slide, wondering if I would knock my head or clunk my back if I tried it.
(The caution adult mind is an annoying spoil sport at times...)
I whooshed down the slide with a hearty scream.
(What fun is it to go down a slide without screaming?)
Bernie swam over to me.
"I heard you scream before I saw you come out."
"Yeah, I know. Screaming is part of the fun."
"Yeah, you are right. You've got to scream if you want to have all the fun."
I gave the twisty slide a try next.
(Secretly worried about how low the exit point was to the edge of the pool.)
I had hardly gotten whee! past my lips when I was already rocketing into the water.
Bernie was waiting in the water near the edge of the pool.
"So it was fun?"
"Which one did you like better?"
"The straight one."
"I just like coming out higher above the water. Come on, let's both go down the slides together, you take the curved one, I'll take the straight one."
We pulled ourselves out of the pool and walked over to the slides. Bernie climbed up and out of sight before I had put one foot on the stairs.
Just as I grabbed the hand rail to start climbing I heard the lifeguard speak.
"Ma'am...only one person on the slide at a time."
"Oh. I'm sorry...I didn't know."
"You will have to wait until he is through the slide before you can go."
(I felt rather foolish that as a 54 year old woman I was being admonished by a kid probably not even old enough to drive....)
At that point Bernie came whooshing out the end of the slide head first and careened into the water with a huge splash.
Bernie righted himself and shook his head.
"Sir...it is against regulations to go down the slide head first. You can only go down the slide feet first."
"Oh. OK. Sorry. I didn't know."
We sheepishly climbed out of the pool, under the watchful eye of the polite young man in the lifeguard chair.
This is getting to be a disturbing trend. Bernie and I have always tried to live in a law abiding, non-rebelling fashion.
Lately thought, whenever we get around holes filled with water, we some how find ourselves in trouble with the law.
I scarcely know how this can be.
(We didn't bother to point out to the young man in the red suit that obviously you actually could go down the slide head first just fine, and the correct word to use should have been "may" instead of "can." I figured we should just lay low and stay out of trouble, we've got a long summer still ahead of us, and the last thing we need is to be blackballed from the neighborhood swimming pool just for the sake of semantics!)