Fun In The Sun: My Favorite Summertime Memory

Regardless of where you come from or how you were raised, you will always have a memory that you will cherish forever. Big or small, these events or items are a key part in remembering your youth that will ultimately fade into nothing more than stories that you tell your children, grandchildren and hopefully your “greats”.  With the quickly approaching Summer 2K18, it seemed only fitting to share my favorite summertime childhood memories of splashing away the days at our local pool. 

 Every summer, my grandmother would load my cousins and I up into the the van, elbow-to-elbow, and make the journey through the valley to spend our days basking in the warm sun. Well, it wasn't exactly a journey as it was only a few blocks but my small mind comprehended it as so. The pool wasn’t that grand either as it consisted of a two-tier diving board, a slide, and a depth that did not exceed six feet (or as we affectionately called it “the deep end”). 

As soon as our caravan of elementary aged girls arrived we would burst out of the vehicle like a load of clowns in an abnormally small car letting out exclamations of joy that the day would hold. Instantaneously, we were bombarded with a smell that is unique to its location--- a mixture of chlorine, suntan oil, and grilled goods that seemed to excite you even more than the sound of booming speakers, laughter, and the water whooshing down the slide.  As soon as you got out, for some odd reason, it was custom to rip off your shoes and tiptoe across the scorching concrete yelling "Ow! Ow! Hot! Ow!" while grabbing your rafts and snacks before running through the entrance at full speed. The ever-looming high-school aged cashier never yelled at us to come back and pay because she knew our grandmother would be trailing behind us like a butler soon enough to yield our passes.  

We had a spot there. The far-right hand corner of the "baby pool" as we called it. There, the sun was constantly shining over the shallow pool acting as a natural heater enabling the babies to participate in the summer fun as well. Obviously, we were no longer babies so the pool served little purpose other than a quick warm up for my cousins and me. However, it was perfect for our much younger siblings.  Quickly, we would discard our stuff and race to the big kid pool and jump in before my grandmother could lather on the sunblock that seemed to always make its way into our mouths and saturate our taste buds in the worst way. We would stay there all day, living off of bologna sandwiches and Kool-Aid, letting our imaginations simply run wild. We played games a typical to that of the minds of young children including mermaids and seahorses, Olympic swimmers, models, instructors, and so on.  Of course, these games had always left us gulping up gallons of that heavily chlorinated water. The initial burning sensation following ingestion would most accurately be described as "tragic" and "the end of the world" by my younger self and would ultimately result with about 3-5 minutes of a total breakdown before resuming our play. These days at "the pool" (we never actually knew the name of it) are some of the most innocent and fun-loving times of my life so far and I will cherish them forever. 

 What are some of your favorite summertime memories? Let us know! 


Alexis Schlueter