Monday, June 19, 2017

Making a Splash?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I was thinking about how this year I might have to buy a new bathing suit. Argh. After I made all of the predictable excuses: it's too early, it's too late. Nothing ever fits, the lights in the dressing room make me look green… Anyway, after all that whining, I thought: wait, let me look at my old bathing suits and see if perhaps I can use one of those.

Funnily enough--I guess it's funny---I found some bathing suits in a drawer that still had their tags on them. I had purchased them, apparently thinking they were reasonably okay, and never worn them.

Why is that you ask? Because: I never go swimming. I have to say, I live in Boston, which is near (duh) the ocean. We have millions of friends on the Cape. And in Maine.  We go to the Caribbean from time to time, and… We have a swimming pool in our backyard.

It is the family joke that I never go in the water.

I remember growing up I loved swimming. First we played in the sprinkler. Apparently, as you can see from this photo from...1954-ish? I was already into swim suit coverups.

Later it was our summer social life, going to the pool. Hanging with everyone. Listening to Surfer Girl and Da Do Ron Ron  and  Sum-Sum-Summertime on our transistor radios, and doing whatever else we did, which I don't remember. I think it was dodging the splashes of the guys trying to splash us while pretending to ignore us while showing off by doing cannonballs. And--can openers, right? That was holding just one leg.

I also remember one summer when, inspired by Esther Williams, I think we tried synchronized swimming. For about a minute.  I could dive off he high dive. No prob.

But no more. Why do I not go swimming? Everyone thinks I either can't swim, wrong, or afraid of the water, wrong, or don't like swimming, wrong again. The reason I haven't been swimming in years is a strange one… It's because I can't see.  To be able to see, I either have to wear my contacts, which is not a good thing in water. Or I have to wear my glasses. Worse. So what I would do was just avoid it.

But since I had cataract surgery I can really see. And as the guys came to open the pool last weekend, I thought wow! I could actually go in this year. So we shall... see. I still don't have a good bathing suit.

How about you all? Are you swimmers ? Or are you more watchers. Are you mermaids? Or shorebirds?

INGRID THOFT: I’m definitely a mermaid or a selkie.  From Irish, Scottish, and Icelandic folklore, selkies are creatures who are seals in the water, but shed their skin to be human on land.  I love swimming, preferably in the ocean with critters.  Snorkeling and scuba diving are two of favorite activities because I can observe, and sometimes, interact with the sea life.  I dove with a potato cod fish the size of a small car on the Great Barrier Reef, who wanted to tag along, even when I was headed on my way!  Although the ocean is my first choice, I’ll dive into pools, ponds, and lakes with equal enjoyment.  I also love taking baths, so I guess that water just suits me.

HANK: Ingrid, you are my role model for swimming. I cannot believe your adventures!

HALLIE EPHRON: I love snorkeling, too! You don't have to be a strong swimmer, you just have to be able to relax in the water and let your flippers keep you afloat.

HANK: Gah. I can't do that.

HALLIE: When I was little I loved to run through the sprinklers in our backyard.  (ed. note: Here's Hallie, probably the same era a few years later) Then I graduated to the ocean. I learned to body surf and was there trying to catch the waves, and then getting tossed upside own and ground into the sand. And coming up and going right back out again.

Now I rarely go in the water, but when we were in Puerto Rico I did take my granddaughter into the pool several times. More standing and weightlifting in the water wearing a hat and sunglasses than actual swimming.

JENN MCKINLAY: I love the water. Pools are fun to splash in but I prefer the ocean -- surfing, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, snorkeling, all of it. I am in. However, I only enjoy it if the water is clear. I grew up on Long Island Sound (not clear, brown, very brown) and I was eight when JAWS came out. My brother -- my Irish twin as he's only eleven months older -- used to sneak up on me while I was swimming and grab my leg and tug me under. Scared the snot out of me every time. Argh!!! Even though I didn't see the movie until I was much older, I can still hear the terrifying music and I don't enjoy water that is over my head if I can't see the bottom. Yes, I'm afraid of sharks because of a movie. Ridiculous, I know.

HANK: Well, yeah. There's a whole generation of people who are permanently traumatized. DA-dum DA-dum.  (sorry :-) )

LUCY BURDETTE: My mother was completely ocean-crazy so we spent all of our summers either at the Jersey shore or in Hatteras NC. We kids were in the water for hours and hours. I also had swimming lessons and am a strong swimmer. I took the water safety instructor class, but didn't pass the part where you had to swim a 200 pound person to the shore. And I used to swim for exercise, including long swims in the Long Island Sound with John. (Jenn, the water is much much nicer these days.) However, that ended after several jelly fish stings. And now I hardly go into the water. Why? The chlorine smell doesn't appeal to me in pools...jellyfish in the sound...too much sun... But in the end, here's what I think: I'm a Capricorn and Capricorns are of the earth, not the water. That said, I'm going to go in more this summer, I swear!

RHYS: I was born a mermaid! I am told that the first time I was taken to the beach I started walking toward the water and kept on going. They pulled me out when I was up to my neck! Unfortunately I grew up in a country of non-heated pools and cold ocean. But since I've lived in California I have swum every day. I just relax when I am in the water, especially warm water. I'm a passionate snorkeler. I have four kids who were all competitive swimmers and now grand kids who are top water-polo players. 

 DEBORAH CROMBIE: I love the water, and love being by the ocean more than just about anything (other than London or the English countryside.) I grew up in the country club and community pools--that's what you did in Texas in the summer, swim, swim, swim, every day. But I have never been a strong swimmer, and when I was about fifteen I got caught in the undertow off the beach in Acapulco. I would have drowned if some other swimmers hadn't seen me go under and rescued me. Since then I have never been comfortable in deep water. I love snorkeling, but only if I can touch bottom! So this makes me pretty much a watery wimp.

Yeesh.
Hank, I totally get it about not being able to see. I was in the same boat (excuse the pun) and it hadn't occurred to me that since my cataract surgery I'd be able to see while swimming. Maybe I'll drag out that cute swimsuit I bought last year and never wore!

PS Does anyone else say "bathing suit?" Hubby always makes fun of me when I do....

HANK: I always say bathing suit! Is it supposed to be swimsuit? I never call it that. So how about you, Reds? Water or not? Do you swim with the (do not use the S word)  or happily sit by the pool/lake/ocean?  And do you have this year's--Ahhhhhh--bathing suit?

83 comments:

  1. I grew up on the Jersey shore. I still live on the Jersey shore. I had swimming lessons when I was a kid.
    Do I swim? Do I like the water? Do I have a bathing suit? No, no, and no.

    Despite the swimming lessons, I was never able to figure out the whole how-to-swim thing. I remember going to the beach with my mom when I was little, but even then I had to take off my glasses to go in the water and, of course, I couldn’t see a thing without them. The ocean waves would knock me over before I knew they were coming.

    Bathing suit shopping makes me absolutely crazy. I can never find a bathing suit that I actually like. So . . . .
    The last time I even thought about having a bathing suit was when we were in Hawaii and had an opportunity to “swim” with the dolphins. Since we weren’t really swimming because the water wasn’t much more than waist high . . . and I could wear my glasses . . . it seemed doable. And I’m glad to have had the opportunity; it was amazing.
    But it didn’t change my mind about the water and the whole idea of actually going swimming . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and me sister. And you are so brave to swim with the dolphins!

      Delete
    2. (Apologies if this shows up more than once.) Joan, I am so much with you! I grew up near Lake Ontario,there was a lovely state park beach but. But. I could not see. Learning the crawl was so terribly complicated. And the water was freezing until August. I was a skinny kid, always cold in the water. Five summers at Girl Scout camp (freezing Adirondack Mt. lake) did not change that. I can swim on my back. Yet I have fond memories of family picnics at the beach and of camp, too. Joke is I married someone who had been a waterfront counselor(!) and learned to scuba with one of our kids. She herself is half dolphin. How did that happen???

      Delete
  2. I like being in the water. As another southern California girl, I also grew up going to the beach and body surfing, and had the requisite swimming lessons. But I find swimming laps in a pool terminally boring, and I'm more afraid of water over my head these days, so I won't go deep in our local pond unless someone is with me, and worry more in the ocean. And yeah, that thing about not being able to see the bottom? No thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So interesting how you've changed, Edith! Any idea why…?

      Delete
  3. Hank, I am totally like you were. My eyesight is so bad that I don't like to swim since I cannot go anywhere without my glasses. I also did not have access to a nearby swimming pool growing up, so I am also not a great swimmer. But i do have 2 newish bathing suits so that I can go to the beach or to a spa. The last time I wore one was this past March when I went to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. That was fun without my face touching the water but my eyeglasses fogged up within seconds of entering the lagoon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the blue Lagoon? That sounds amazing…

      Delete
    2. Geothermal spa/wading pool outside of Reykjavik. It is one of the top tourist attractions.
      http://www.bluelagoon.com/

      Delete
    3. Whoa. SO interesting! Hallie, did you go?

      Delete
    4. Glasses can steam up in the heat. I have swam with my glasses on. And I have worn contacts while swimming too. When I swim now, I swim with my head above the water. I have this knack for getting swim water in my ears.

      Delete
    5. That sounds amazing, Grace! The Blue Lagoon is definitely on my must-see list!

      Delete
    6. How that place in Iceland doesn't have a marketing deal with Brooke Shields is beyond me. HA!

      Delete
    7. I love that you checked out the Blue Lagoon - would love to see it.

      Delete
  4. I so envy people who can swim laps what looks like effortlessly. Skim through the water, take a breath, stroke... also envy anyone who can do the breast stroke. My legs don't bend that way. I used to be able to do a little bit of a swan dive. And I can still run up to the edge of the pool and execute a reasonable racing dive. And empty my lungs and sit at the bottom of the shallow end and have an "underwater tea party" -- anyone else used to do that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I had great fun playing in the pond with my seven-year old friend last summer, and yes, underwater sitting was part of it.

      Delete
    2. Absolutely underwater tea parties! So funny, I haven't thought about that in years and years.
      And synchronized swimming, right? And handstands.

      Delete
    3. Yes, Hallie, I did that as a kid. Hadn't thought about it in years!

      Delete
  5. I love the water, but never had the opportunity for swim lessons as a kid. We had little backyard pools, and I hit every sprinkler I passed, then went to the country club pool pretty regularly when we moved to a new town and were members for a while. What I do is more along the lines of sitting, lounging, splashing, and wading in the water. I bob, but I really enjoy it. These days, hot tubs are more my speed and, yes, I've been looking for a new suit. My problem is that I have very fair skin, and burn in about five minutes. Chances are, when I'm on the shore, I'm covered up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Covering up is much healthier, right? When I think of all the time I spent in the sun with iodine and baby oil… I cringe.

      Delete
  6. I nearly drowned when I was six years old and have been terrified of deep water ever since. I love to walk along the beach as long as the water is no higher than my knees. I used to float with an inner-tube in the neighbors' above-ground pool, but I never learned to swim and never plan to. And I've always called them bathing suits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Annette, How terrifying!
      And maybe you could take swimming lessons now? It might be a good idea. I don't like to swim, but I am a pretty good swimmer. And oh, floating! One of the joys of the universe!

      Delete
  7. Another one here who grew up blind as a bat. My high school best friend taught me the basics at the pool, bless her heart, including diving, but I am still, fifty years later, a timid and fearful swimmer. Even after LASIK surgery. And we live a mile and a half from the largest recirculating pool in the world, Old Coney Island, where I took our kids every summer.
    A few years ago, my sister-in-law invited me to go to Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos with her. Our guide taught/teaches scuba, and grew up in the islands. I swear he's part fish. When he told us we would snorkel I told him I'd stay in the boat. He promised me I would enjoy it, though.

    Luis had me wear a life vest while snorkeling. Brilliant! I was not as fast at swimming that way, but I stayed afloat with no effort, and was able to snorkel all four days. The high points: I alone spotted a green sea turtle lying beneath me on the ocean floor, and when a big group of little Galapagos penguins zipped under and around me. His generosity made my trip so memorable.

    Hallie, we used to do underwater somersaults. I taught all three of my daughters how. But no tea parties.

    My oldest daughter is part fish, apparently. She and her husband and my grandson spend hours swimming the width of Torch Lake in Michigan, which is 200 feet deep, white sand bottom, clear all the way down with pure turquoise water. They literally start swimming and go for miles without touching bottom or shore. And the water is like ice. I just can't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the idea of showing for miles without touching the bottom for sure is jaw-dropping… I guess it shows people have different ideas of fun, right?
      But that penguin adventure sounds amazing!

      Delete
    2. Dictation error :-) it's supposed to be "or shore," not "for sure ."

      Delete
  8. As a guy, a bathing suit isn't much of a worry. A pair of shorts and we are done.

    I swam a lot as a kid. Took lessons at the Y, swam in pools, lakes, oceans. I used to go the beach a lot. Once almost drowned.

    I don't swim now though. Basically because at my size if I'm in the water and move to get out, the save the whales people show up and try to roll me back in the water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Several "almost drowning" memories today..that is SO interesting. Do you all remember exactly what happened?

      Delete
    2. Hank, I was at Shell Point Beach in Onset, MA. I was somewhere between 8 and 10 I think. I was swimming and got my foot caught in a hole or something on the ground in the water about 20 feet or so out. I couldn't get it out but then a woman who was in the immediate area grabbed me and we were able to yank my foot clear.

      Delete
  9. Oh Hank, you are the only other person I have ever heard who shared my diminished joy in swimming because of eyesight! (Though reading the comments above, I see it's not that unusual.) I swam a lot as a child and loved the water, but eventually it got to the point where I couldn't see well enough to even tell which of those blurry faces out there were my friends. And when standing to dive into the pool, I actually couldn't much see what I was diving into. So I lost my enthusiasm for swimming, too. I haven't had cataracts (yet), so I still have the same bad eyesight. Though I do think I would be more willing to struggle with my glasses in the pool for group play than I used to be.

    It has been YEARS since I've purchased a new swimsuit, but when last I did, I had found Land's End to be a good source for suits that fit most body types and looked nice but didn't require shaving of areas God never meant to be shaved, etc. (Sorry, guess that editorial opinion just slipped out there!) Funny thing is, I was actually in one of those swimsuits over the weekend (for use in a hot tub) and to me, the look and fit has held up pretty well.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, Lands End! They had a little tankini top and cute little skirt bottom--sounds weird but it's very chic. A few years ago I bought the blue one and the black one. Hm. Thank you, Susan! Off to check that out. I mean--have you SEEN the bathing suits other retailers are selling now? They look like clothing for bondage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Land's End, my most favored boutique, off there this morning to invest in those $15 tank tops, one in every color, my summer uniform

      Delete
    2. Swimsuits terrify me. I have two with nice, full coverage, that come out for hot tub use, usually when I visit our friends in Wyoming.

      Delete
    3. Oh, on the way now! see you at Lands End! :-)

      Delete
    4. Lands End as the best bathing suits.

      Mary/Liz

      Delete
    5. Have you ever seen some of the "bikinis" they were in Brazil? Let's just say LITERAL dental floss covers more.

      Delete
  11. I bought my last -- and I do mean last -- bathing suit nine years ago. I bet it still has the tags on it.

    In my salad days I was quite the swimmer, did a bit of synchronized in college, had a pool in the 80s and 90s and swam every day. I also lived in Belmont Shore, Long Beach, and my favorite after work activity was a swim in the frigid ocean.

    I have no body shame. Not many people over the age of 25 should be seen in a bathing suit. So I never felt alone when I paddled in mine. These days swimming is just too much trouble. There's the part where I have to go upstairs and find the suit. Then pull it on over my baggy blubbery butt. And we aren't even going to talk about managing those yards of soft sand at our local beach. Never mind I'm missing a rotator cuff on one side. I. Just. Can't.

    I'd far rather sit in a zero gravity chair, under an umbrella, umbrella drink in one hand and Kindle fodder in the other. Have fun darlings. I'll mind the grill and the bar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! So wise. It gets SO sandy. Sand on everything, which never goes away.

      Still, it's pretty. Except for the deadly whatever fish and things they are.

      Still, it's gorgeous to see the vast ocean, right? Sigh.

      Delete
  12. I write a scuba diving series. Need you ask. I always maintained I made a bad deal when I traded my gills for lungs! Even though I know human children do not have gills - I know I should have. I wonder if there's a retrofit? Hum... now there's a thought. When it comes to bathing suits....Tyr makes the best for real swimming. Always comfy and they never ride up--if you know get my drift.

    For as much as I love the water and swimming, I am petrified of a mucky bottom. Weeds, mud, ugh on the bottom, I'm outta there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kait! Yes, slimy mucky bottom--yuck is right. xoxo

      Delete
  13. I know serious swimmers who wear prescription lens goggles.

    I spent summer vacations swimming and sailing on Cape Cod, with a mandatory swim test before sailing, wearing a life vest. My ex-Navy dad was very strict. No swimming alone, body surfing only with parental supervision on shore.

    Summers in Atlanta revolved around swim team. My near-sighted kids counted strokes before executing flip turns.

    During Cincinnati summers, I swim laps every weekend, wearing a tank suit. I stockpile swimsuits and never travel without one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are my role model! And wow, counting strokes. That is serious. And so Zen..

      Tank suit. Yes.

      Delete
    2. Three years ago my husband started swimming laps at Coney two or three times a week. He wears goggles, but with clear lenses. There have only been prescription ones for the last twenty years or so. And they were prohibitively expensive.

      Delete
    3. I know there are prescription goggles, but I definitely can't afford them. Frankly, a normal pair of eyeglasses costs me $1100 (CDN) and my medical insurance covers only $250 (out of $1100) once every 2 years. So forking over extra money for 2nd pair (prescription sunglasses) has priority over prescription goggles for me.

      Delete
  14. I grew up not that far from Lake Erie, but we rarely went to the lake in those days. Too rocky and dirty. I've taken my kids in recent years and it's much better.

    But I did go to the community pool all the time and yes, I was on the synchronized swim team. Loved it. Loved the pool.

    When I went to Puerto Rico and St. Croix I swam all the time. Learned to SCUBA dive, went on a night dive, down to 100 feet, the works.

    Now? We have a membership to a pool down the street and I almost never go. Not really sure why. I have a decent suit. I just...don't go. During the day there are too many kids running around and I'm too tired after work to go at night. But I really should. I need the exercise.

    Mary/Liz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, partly it's the sun thing. And all the stuff you have to take. And haul around. Sunscreen, flip-flops. towel, another towel. Water, sunglasses, book. Another book.

      Delete
    2. Ha! Yes, there is that. Sitting on the ground is not comfortable and I can't sit in the direct sun for long without feeling sick. The deck and porch are soooo much closer and more comfortable!

      Still, when we had kids we swore they'd learn to swim and ride a bike. Glad to say they've done both (The Girl is captain of the swim team next year).

      Mary/Liz

      Delete
  15. Finally, so many who understand my blind-as-a-bat problem with swimming! I married into a family of beach loving athletes who all have better than twenty-twenty vision. They just don't get me.
    Thanks for the good memories - can opener, yes! Bathing suit, yes.
    And one of my favorite movies: Million Dollar Mermaid. Esther Williams looking glorious, even underwater.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, how did she do it?
      And agree--so funny, all of us who had the same problem. Who knew?

      Delete
  16. Hank,

    Please correct me if I am mistaken here. I thought a bathing suit meant that someone wears a bathing suit for sunbathing and a swimsuit meant that someone wears a swimsuit for swimming?

    When I was on my high school swim team, I wore a swimsuit. I used to wear a bathing suit for sunbathing only. Since I learned about the dangers of sunbathing, I do not wear a bathing suit anymore.

    Because of the pollution in oceans, I never swam in the oceans. I remember the oil rigs in the ocean within sight of the beaches.

    The closest I came to swimming in the ocean was swimming in the Great Lakes. The water was clean. No pollution there.

    Love to swim, ever since I learned how to swim. Perhaps I am a selkie at heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Biblio--that makes sense! But I never heard that. How about you all--bathing for sunbathing? Swimsuit for swimming? I think they are the same thing....

      Delete
    2. I actually think that bathing suit is from the U.K. because they say "bathing" when they mean "swimming". We Yanks just use swimsuit and bathing suit interchangeably.

      Delete
    3. Bathing suit and swimsuit are used interchangeably in Canada.

      Delete
  17. Swimsuits for bondage, Hank, too funny! But true! I had a couple of old Land's End tank suits that I wore for years (and I do mean years) whenever I had to drag out a suit. So many years that all the elastic finally disintegrated and I had to throw them away....

    Then, last year I saw the cutest tank suit at Target, in a Marimekko print with a matching cover up. I would actually not be too ashamed to wear it to a pool party, but no one has invited me. Maybe plan beach vacation instead??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marimekko! Love that. And hey, come on over!

      Delete
  18. I love the water. Absolutely love it! Although I don't swim as much as I used to because I'm usually running when I would have jumped in the pool. Or playing ultimate Frisbee. I really miss it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Okay, REALLY? Lands End ads are now showing up on my Facebook. Come ON.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just be glad you didn't start getting bondage ads or something after making that comment earlier today. :D

      Delete
  20. I've always said "bathing suit," Debs. To me it's always referred to "bathing" in the ocean, the getting wet part!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Agreed. Like icing and frosting. The same thing. Or--is it?

      Delete
    2. Jenn should know the answer to that!

      Delete
  21. Ingrid, if you ever get to sit down and watch a movie, I'd recommend The Secret of Roan Inish. A selkie plays a role in the movie which is an utter charmer of a film.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I don't know that movie! Checking it out... (Does she swim?)

      Delete
    2. It isn't so much about the selkie, just that one plays a big role in the set up of the main part of the movie. I think it was made by John Sayles, who has made a ton of movies that were just amazing storytelling.

      Delete
    3. Oh, yes, love his movies! Ah--what was the most famous one?

      Delete
    4. Hank, I think Eight Men Out was probably his most famous. But he also did Lone Star, Matewan and Passion Fish among his other movies. Other than The Secret of Roan Inish, my favorite was Limbo (a title that the movie lives up to).

      Checking out IMDB, he also directed 3 videos for Bruce Springsteen which I did not know before now.

      Delete
  22. I took my first swimming lesson the day I turned 7. I remember the water was right up to my chin the 3' section of the pool. I loved swimming right off the bat. I took Jr Lifeguard training when I was 12. I still go swimming and swim laps at the local pools. Fins and goggles are a must! I do say swimsuit or bathing suit depending on whatever pops out of my mouth! We did have to wear bathing caps when I was a little kid, but by the time I was 10 or 11 they had stopped requiring it. I did like the caps with the large flowers attached and the straps that snapped on. In less than 2 weeks it will be 51 years since that first swimming lesson - it sure brings back great memories of a simpler time in my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that a funny memory-to be up to your chin in the shallow end? Aw.. And it's exactly how I measure the hight of my grandsons! Both have their heads above the shallow end now--amazing.

      Delete
  23. Bathing suits, swim suits, I say both. Maybe it's an age thing. As kids we wore bathing suits. And they were awful. Heavy cotton knit that was torture to get on and off. Yech. I just bought swim shorts from Land's End, along with a really cute rash guard I can wear while floating, bobbing, or whatever but not really swimming. It is short-sleeved and has a loose fit with ties on the sides at the bottom. You wear it over a swim top or bra. Good coverage. Since my weight has bobbed up and down I needed something to wear that doesn't make me look too godawful. I haven't done it in a long time but floating on a river in an inner tube is wonderful. I don't care for swimming pools much because of the chlorine. And the beach is fun. I'll jump the waves but I don't swim. I had the same sight issues as a kid. As in super blurry. In high school I'd wear my contact lens and just keep my head out of the water. I have tried snorkeling but I'm not sold on it. I have issues with leaky masks and limited range of vision. Like you can only see straight down. A swimmer with a speargun once swam by me and scared the crap out of me when I saw him at the last second.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HANK here : Yikes! I guess so! What a scary scary situation... And I love the idea of a swim top. Hmm.

      Delete
  24. Growing up, I went to the pool some, but it wasn't until we joined the local country club when I was around eleven that I spent summers at the pool, tanning and swimming a bit. I am not a strong swimmer at all, but I am able to do a very relaxing back float and backstroke. Or, at least I was able to. I haven't been swimming since my kids were growing up. I've done an occasional water park visit, but even that has been at least five years ago. I, too, have the vision problem, Hank, and others really don't understand it when they don't have it. One of my main problems now though is that I have put on weight and can't stand how I look in a bathing suit (yes, bathing suit for me, too). I know it's silly, but since I don't really enjoy the water anymore, I just don't worry much about it.

    My daughter married into a swimming, water family and has taken to it like, well, a duck to water. Hahaha! She and her husband have a boat and spend every minute they can on the water with their daughters. My seven-year-old granddaughter is part fish, and both she and my teenage granddaughter swim beautifully. While I don't have a love affair with the water, it somehow makes me oddly happy that my daughter and her family do. They have so much fun. And, they love the ocean, too. My son is not much of a water person, but he doesn't pass up an opportunity to take part in a water activity either.

    My main problem with the ocean is my bad experience in Hawaii when my husband and I went there before we had kids. To make a long story short, I decided I didn't want to stand in one spot that wasn't over my head waiting for my husband to retrieve a raft, so I started swimming into shore. Only, I was going crooked, and when I put my feet down, there wasn't a bottom. I panicked, swallowed water, and started yelling for help. I should tell you that this is an angel story, too. Suddenly, there was a middle-aged couple with a big black swimming tube there by me, and they told me to hang onto it. My husband was hurrying back to me, as he and the rest of the world had heard me scream for help. He got there, with the raft, and I held onto it. I turned to thank the couple who had rescued me, and they weren't there. Honest. I didn't see them again. It was quit the experience, but it effectively ended my going into the ocean past my knees being covered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HANK here: Wow. Kathy. That is quite the story. Haunting. Whoa. (We're glad they saved you!)

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Hank. I was rather happy with the outcome, too.

      Delete
  25. I love the water. The smallish town I grew up in had a town pool, and I practically lived there in the summer -- swimming lessons, free swims, racing, diving. And yes, I remember underwater tea parties. Haven't thought of those in years. And diving off the high dive, too, Hank. The first time was pretty scary! I've lived on the Cape now, off and on, for 40+ years, so swimming is a big part of my summers. I do need a new bathing suit, though. Must check out Land's End. Love their suits! And yes, to me it's bathing suit, not swimsuit!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HANK here: Yes, the high dive is so...high. It really doesn't seem like it could possibly be safe. I jumped a million times before I dived. Not a chance I would do it now. :-)

      Delete
  26. So I'm not the only one who doesn't like to go into the water half blind, although that's not the main reason I stay out of water that is above my ankles. I'm terrified of the water. All my life I've lived in one town or another on Long Island Sound, and I grew up going to the beach. But I had a bad experience when trying to learn to swim when I was about six years old. Then about three years later when I was nine my family was at the beach when the body of a teenage boy was retrieved. That just did it for me; I would never again feel comfortable trying to learn to swim. When I'm at the beach I like to do birdwatching or look for interesting sea shells. If it's low tide and I'm feeling brave I will walk into water that's ankle deep. I actually love the beach and everything about how it changes throughout the day; I just don't want to take my chances with the water.

    And of course it's called a Bathing Suit:-)

    Deb Romano

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HANK here: DebRo--wow. So scary..poor thing! And it is pretty interesting how many of you have had truly frightening water experiences! I would never have predicted that.

      Delete
  27. I grew up around lakes and loved swimming. I had to swim either the length (2.5 miles) or the width (1.5 miles) in order to go out in a boat without wearing my life jacket. Which I did, since I was very motivated to be like the big kids. Hated swimming laps in a pool until just recently. I bought goggles and that transformed everything. Admittedly the view is boring but now I am oriented in space, I can blow bubbles and not have to close my eyes. I use them in the lake(s) too.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh, goggles! Maybe I will try that… see you all tomorrow! And Susan, tomorrow's blog is fabulous!

    ReplyDelete