In the Swim of Things

After spending an entire vacation week staying cool in a lake, my husband Peter and I wondered how we would survive the rest of this hot summer with no swimming.

Then we heard the best news – outdoor pools in the city were going to be open, with restrictions of course. We live less than 2 blocks from an Olympic-sized public pool with a very pleasant water temperature. The schedule indicated lane swimming, 6 people for half an hour at a time, from 11 to 12 noon. This was followed by family leisure swim, 25 people per hour, from 12 to 8 pm. We chose lane swimming over being splashed and jumped on by little kids. We changed into our bathing suits and headed up the street.

When we arrived, there were some people in line ahead of us. It seemed to be 4, which meant that we would be 5 and 6 – yea! We sat down on a curb in the shade and waited. When the whistle blew and everyone jumped up, we discovered that one babysitter was actually a swimmer which meant that we were numbers 6 and 7. Peter and I looked at each other with longing. But I tend to be a martyr, so I gave him the spot and left for home.

When I got home, I started feeling sorry for myself and desperate to get into that pool, so I walked back again. When Peter’s half hour ended, he passed me as I was waiting. He looked very appreciative. I got into the pool: ah cool water! ah exercise! ah martyrdom!

The pool swim was lovely but I started thinking about the lake – Lake Ontario – the lake where I spent all my childhood summers. Readers may remember that last September I decided to try swimming in the lake again, at age 70 plus. I dragged Peter with me but he has Mediterranean blood and only got in up to his knees. I made it all the way to my waist before I chickened out too. But this summer…surely this summer has been so hot that the water would be hot too, right?

On Friday, with temperatures in the 30’s, we decided to try our luck at Sunnyside Beach. Well in truth, I wore my bathing suit and Peter said he would be in charge of the camera. We got a parking spot, overcoming our first hurdle, and then walked to the beach. There were a lot of people sun bathing but nobody was actually swimming. The lifeguard told us why – unsafe levels of e-coli. Well readers, I was not ready to poison myself for you, so we left.

Now what? Somebody told us that, further west on another beach, the e-coli levels were low. We went searching and found the beach. Once again we saw sun-bathers and even paddlers, but no swimmers. Plus the lake was rough! And the bottom was rocky! Really, how much sacrifice am I supposed to make for this blog anyway? So we went home, and sat inside with the air-conditioner going full blast.

Through a window I spotted the garden hose in the back yard. Would a run through the sprinkler count as swimming? I’d have to invite some grand children over so I wouldn’t look silly. Or maybe I could go with them to a splash pad…..

Then I decided that maybe it was just easiest to go back to the outdoor pool. So, after I finish writing this, I’m going to sneak out the back door and race up the street, ready to capture spot number 6. Don’t anybody tell Peter!


People waiting in line at the pool

3 thoughts on “In the Swim of Things

  1. Hi Sue, after reading all your efforts to have a swim I do hope you will bring your swimsuit to my place and enjoy using our pool. You will be most welcome! Fingers crossed it will not be raining. M.

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Moira’s pool sounds like a good bet for you! No one to share it with. Lake Ontario must be cold too! You are a brave one.


  3. Great invitation.   Did you get a storm on Sunday?  Still hot here, but better than on the weekend. am, xo


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