Sunday, September 23, 2007

Perfect Postcard Pool



Alas, the swimming lagoon at Squaw Valley was closed for the ‘season’ but this certainly did not deter pp from finding another pool. This is what she did. Find pools as soon as she landed. And while Lake Tahoe’s turqoisey blue called to her, PP knew she was not robust enough to venture into its clear magical waters.

Too goddamn COLD!

So, off to the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex! Heated Pool. Six 25-yard lanes.

And……when PP and Dashingly Handsome BF arrived, completely EMPTY!!!

PP was in Heaven and hardly able to contain her excitement as she rushed into the homey office where a friendly pool girl was pouring over her algebra homework from the local Community College.

“Hi!” PP bounced up to the counter, DH following in happy contentment. After all, he’d found the pool for her on the Internet before their arrival. “Two for lap swimming. You do have lap swimming, yes?”
PP glanced through the windows at the lovely empty pool surrounded by tall dusky pines under a cool and breezy mountain evening. What if they were closed? No one was swimming. Could it be that they’d gotten the times wrong? But no, DH had phoned ahead. 6-8 p.m. M-F. What day was it? Tuesday? Yes. PP loved it that vacation took away the days of the week, but then feared that this could backfire.

“Do you own a home in Tahoe?” Studying Girl had asked.
Huh? PP frowned and shook her head. Why the hell was she asking about home ownership at the pool? Could only homeowners swim here in Tahoe’s Picture Perfect pool?
This seemed a little far-fetched, PP had to admit; yet in her non-homeowner status, she felt a little panicked.
“Uh…. no….we’re just visiting here.”
“Cool. From where?”
“Oakland.”
SG giggled. “That’s a long ways a way.”
“Yeah, but I really needed a swim, so it’s worth it.” PP joked. Why the hell didn’t she just take the $4.25 and let them in to swim? Was she trying to establish their residency here because she was gonna charge them more? PP seemed to remember this happening somewhere else. That residents got in cheaper than non-residents to a particular pool. But maybe SG just was making small talk. Though it was kinda weird small talk. Even for Tahoe. PP doesn’t know what they make small talk about in Tahoe, but guessed it might be about skiing, or partying, or gambling, right?

Since PP couldn’t make small talk about anything except swimming, she was in trouble!

“What’s the water temperature?” she asked, thinking this would be a safe topic. Or at least one of her favorite topics, remembering how at Mills she and all her fellow swimmers loved to analyze the water temp. Art J, said it so succinctly one day: “I like to ask everyone I meet what the temp is. Then I like to ask the lifeguards. Then, of course, finally, I like to stick my hand in and guess. It’s all part of the ritual.”
“And one of our favorite topics of conversation,” the Lovely I had quipped. “No matter how many times we talk about the water temp, it’s always the same, but always different.”

Ok, maybe the conversation didn’t go exactly like the above, but you get the idea. Water temp is crucial.

This evening, SG’s cohort informed them, “It’s usually 80 or 81 degrees.”
“But the air is chilly, so you better bring your towels with ya out on deck,” SG added.
“Ah, that’s manageable,” PP had nodded. Now if she could just pay her $4.25 and get in the pool, please?

And she does. For the two of them. Shoves a ten dollar bill across the counter and forces the issue.
“For both of you?” SG asks.
“Yes, please,” PP is too excited to get cranky at the delay. Actually, it wasn’t that long of a delay, but it felt like it as she pocketed her change and hurried into the dressing room.

Does she need to describe it? Nah, nothing special. A public pool definitely with concrete floors and puddles oozing out from the toilets. PP hurriedly dressed and rushed out to the pool.

And SG was right. The air was chilly. They were definitely in the High Sierras. Diving into the pool, PP almost shouted in delight. It was so perfect. No one else was there except for DH, and the pine trees surrounding the pool’s structure. Kicking on her back, PP could see the sliver of the moon rising over a magnificent stony mountaintop between the tall green pines.

Why, it was like swimming in a postcard!

PP had never swum in a postcard before.

She liked it. And decided that she was never gonna get out.

Till she got cold.
Which she did.
But not before a few other swimmers joined them, one of whom was a super sleek fast young woman in a full wet suit zooming past PP in the next lane.

Wow! PP thought as she noticed her lapping PP even with her fast fins on.
She’s speedy! Wonder how often she swims? Or if she swims in the Lake too?

But more on her in the next blog.

You wanna know about her, don’t you?
PP thought so.

till then.....

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