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Archives for : August1955

The Hairy Affair

The pool at the club is the kids favorite place on a hot day. I don’t mind spending time lounging about in the sun either and they are becoming better swimmers every year. I still have my fantasy wish list with a pool in the backyard of our house, but for now we’re using the club pool. The club instituted a new service this year – bar service at the snack bar. This could lead to some trouble for some moms. Having a cocktail or even two after fivish o’clock has always been an option when on your own dry land. Starting at lunch should be reserved for special occasions.

Normally at the club, I sit with my girlfriends. We set our lounge chairs all in a row so we can keep an eye on all of our kids. If it gets really hot, we join the children in the pool to cool off. Once every hour, the lifeguards blow their whistles and let the grownups take over the pool. The kids sit on the side impatiently kicking their legs and feet in the water. It’s a great time for the big people as we bob around talking in the chest deep water.

Last week, during a very hot afternoon, we all learned a lesson about drinking and swimming. A group of middle-age women sit together on the side of the pool near the snack bar. Their children are older and don’t need as much mom attention. There are fewer “Mom, watch this” occasions as one of our younger children try some daring jump into the water. Those mothers have a little more time to drink while sunbathing. This may have led to the embarrassing event that occurred. After the whistle for the adult swim, the moms and some dads wandered over to the pool. The moms usually ease themselves into the pool so that their hair doesn’t get wet.

Ambanda Destry, of the middle-age women group, was getting into the pool after she had two post lunch cocktails. Unfortunately, she had also skipped lunch that day because one of her friends had made a remark about her expanding waist. Ambanda got a little off balance on her way down the ladder and slipped down into the water. Unfortunately, she completely lost her balance when one of the men belly-flopped into the pool near her and caused a wave to catch her off guard. When she was hit by the baby wave and covered by water, everyone’s attention turned from the man to her. As she surfaced, something that looked like a wet animal was floating next to her. There were gasps and then stifled chuckles as everyone realized that her wig had come off. Some moms covered the eyes of their children as they sat giggling on the side of the pool.

I’m not sure if there is any coincidence or not, but the club announced the closing of the bar at the snack bar this week. All in all, probably for the best.

The Grass Is Always Greener

The last couple of weeks have been very dry and our lawns were starting to look a little parched. Except for Artie’s. His grass is always a little greener. I saw a small group of the men walk down the block towards the Woodward’s house. They stopped at the edge of the property and stared at the grass. It’s not the first I have seen this happen. The men on our block are very tribal about figuring out what to do to help each other. They regularly and freely give opinions on what tool to use when building, what kind of oil to use in a car or how long to cook a burger on the grill. They were less intent on discussing what creative gift to give their wives at Christmas, but a trip to Hall’s Jewelry Shop usually helped then through that dilemma.

A couple of minutes later, Artie appeared and joined the group. There were handshakes and lots of smiles before they all turned toward the grass. It appeared as though Artie had a lot to share about his grass care. The discussion continued for a little longer and then the men started walking back down the block.

Later that night, I asked Steve what they had talked about at Artie’s house. He answered vaguely but did say one word clearly, “water.” I really wanted to let this one word go but couldn’t resist asking what he meant. Steve reported that Artie had been getting up in the middle of the night to water his lawn. Again, I could not resist. Middle of the night? Steve said that Artie believed that less water evaporated if he watered at night. I couldn’t think of anything else to say but could see some logic in the answer. All the same, I was hoping not to catch Steve up in the middle of the night outside with the hose on watering the lawn.

Dear Diary

With two budding great readers, I have tried to take Stevie and Daisy to the library as often as once a week every summer. I was a little surprised this week when Stevie chose books about spies. One week it’s soldiers, the next week it could be monsters. Daisy happily checks out her books based on the pictures. While the children searched for their books, I found myself reading some titles in the non-fiction section on how to write. There weren’t many choices and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to answer any questions about my secret desire to write down my thoughts. There were a lot of English books that might disguise my interest so I grabbed one and returned to the more popular bestseller section. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was afraid of but I didn’t want to share my secret with anyone yet. I had started writing in a journal a while ago. In between my thoughts about my own life, I chronicled the changes I saw in my two mostly-adorable children. I’ve been keeping my journal under my mattress on my side of the bed. I would never include anything embarrassing about Steve but there were some anecdotes on his parents and my mom.

As we checked out our books and left, the kids skipped out to the car. The funny part was that I felt inside like they did and my heart was skipping with them. I hope someday soon I feel able to share my thoughts. I can’t be the only person who feels like I do about our changing world. I don’t want to grow away from my friends either; it’s hard to know if they feel how our lives are slowly changing again. Well, at least I’ll update my knowledge of English along the way. That can’t be a bad idea.

Holy Cow

Edie’s earlier intro to the group at the last card party served to make her appearance at the annual block party a little easier. I couldn’t say the same for Artie. I saw Edie and Artie leave their house and walk toward the middle of the block. Edie was holding a covered platter and Artie was wearing pink shorts and a fancy panel front shirt. Quite a statement not usually made by the average male on our block. I met Edie at the food tables as she moved a few dishes, including my brownies, to make room for her big plate of brownies. They were perfect little squares of chocolatey goodness. Everyone else in my group knew not to make brownies since I had been perfecting my own recipe and bringing them to the block party this year. Edie introduced Artie to me and I asked him if he wanted to join the guys at the grill. He said that he would sit with Edie for awhile and we all walked toward our group had set up our chairs. We always had extra chairs; Artie waltzed over to the one in the center of the group and stood in front of the seat until Edie and I sat down. Well, at least he’s a gentleman. The other ladies joined the group and someone got Artie and Edie drinks. This year, we were enjoying a mixture of gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water known as a Tom Collins. There were cherries on the top of each drink to make them look festive. Artie and Edie clinked glasses and I heard a little “shala shala” from Edie.

By the third drink, Artie had heard way too many intimate details that weren’t usually discussed in front of the men. There was a lot more giggling than usual. Artie seemed okay with what he was hearing and showed no interest in grilling with the other guys. I kind of understood that he wouldn’t want to get his fancy shirt dirty but we do have rules about the separation of the sexes on our block.

As I have discussed before, there is a lot of competition in the dessert category. My delicious brownies and Edie’s stack of brownies were on the same table. Some people complimented me on my dessert but I didn’t know if they had really eaten one of my brownies or one of Edie’s. There was only one person who could end my issue with which was better tasting. I went down to the food tables, picked up one of each brownie and put them on a plate. I brought the plate to Harold and pulled him away from the guys. Steve looked a little perplexed. Harold tried a bite from both and smiled after biting into mine. I felt enormous relief and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Harold returned to his group and I quietly but smugly sat back down after checking on my children. As I sat down, some of my high school French came back to me and I quietly proclaimed “vache sacree.” I think I had unconsciously found my slogan.