My folks were in town last weekend to watch Abigail play soccer and Isaac’s middle school band play at the high school football game with the high school band.  They came in Friday night in time for the football “game”.  We had to be to the field an hour early but that meant we got good seats.  Unfortunately, we later discovered that those seats were right next to the student section.  Perhaps it’s all student sections, and I hate to speak badly of my neighbors, but those kids were real knuckleheads.

Middle School band

Anyhow, Isaac’s middle school band played the Star Spangled Banner and the high school’s fight song (is there only one fight song?  It sounded like all fight songs sound) and really sounded pretty good.  The middle school band is pretty large and doubled the HS band.  They played great together although the student section’s highest ranking idiot corps made it somewhat hard to hear.  I called the game a “game” above because it wasn’t really a game.  The football team beat the opponent 69 – 9.  It wasn’t much fun to watch but then, we came for the band anyhow.

Middle and High School band

As I said, my parents were here for the weekend.  Since our house is in a constant state of construction, they stayed in a nearby hotel…a hotel with a pool.  I think the highlight of the visit was the opportunity to swim in a cement pond!  The kids and my Mom and I had a great time two nights.  We swam and just had a lot of fun.  Isaac tried unsuccessfully to dunk me.  I threw both kids around the pool and we all got chlorine eyes!  That’s swimming pool success!

Swimming lessons Swimming lessons

Both my Mom and I worked as lifeguards in our younger years so we are capable swimmers and we try to teach the kids to swim whenever we can.  My mom in particular has taught my kids very well and she helped them refine their strokes this weekend too.  Both Isaac and Abigail are becoming much better swimmers and seem to enjoy it.  My mom and I both learned in the same water source, 30 years apart.  In my hometown, we swim in the outflow from the local Corps of Engineers’ dam.

Tionesta Beach
Tionesta Beach – photo from RH
Tionesta Beach
Tionesta Beach – photo from RH

It’s cold, fast moving, dark water where one learns quickly to sink or swim.  I stole a pic of my mom when she was a kid at “the beach” so you can get an idea.  My kids are learning in a pool and I am sure it is safer but there is something inspiring about learning to swim in apparently bottomless water.  Still, their lessons are going swimmingly and I am so glad that they have learned to swim as well as they have!

3 thoughts on “Swimmingly

  1. I got the priveledge of learning to swim in dark bottomless water too. Although Lake Superior is not one of the bodies of water I would reccomend. Even in the summer it feels like it is just barely above the solid state. Although they say it reaches 48 degrees somewhere.
    I was about to begin the third grade and we were having a picnic on the beach. My brother an I took a walk on a long pier out into the water and when we reached the end he announced that since I didn’t know how to swim, there was no time like the present to learn. Then he pushed me off of the pier.
    By the time my father arrived to see what happened to me, I had pretty much learned the basics in learning how not to drown. He helped his now blue child out of the water. I think my brother’s manical laughter tipped him off that something was wrong. I can still hear that laughter today, all I have to do is call him and remind him of the incident. Especially since all he got was a verbal reprimand.

  2. Hi Warren! You had a left a question on my blog about the DIY pond filter, and since Blogger doesn’t allow me to comment/reply on my own posts (don’t know wtf is up with that, have tried Chrome, FFX and Safari), here’s the answers:

    1. Not sure when the biologicals kick in. I thought it would be a few hours after the aquarium bacteria is poured into the tank, but not sure. I’ll ask Spouse as soon as he’s available and get back to you…

    2. Definitely a solar version of the DIY pond filter in the works – this one is sort of a “proof of concept” version. We’re developing a duck/goose area with an in-ground stock tank serving as a pond many gallons larger than our current small swim area, and it’s way out of reach of electricity unless we want to trench a line to it. Hoping we’ll get something set up this Spring, and we’ll definitely post about it if we do.

  3. I hate to admit it but I’m the skinny black suited one with her back to the camera. We put on a water show every summer in that freezing water and this was one of the shows. Didn’t mind the cold water then but you couldn’t pay me enough to swim there now. I guess with age comes smarts???

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