Swimming in Summer

K. P. Guessen

Summer is not summer without the swimming pool. Over the years, watching my children and grandchildren in the swimming pool has been one of my summer joys. I love the squeals of delight as they gained mastery of the water. Imaginations were ever at play, as different scenarios were constantly changing. There were races and diving activities that could get very rough at times. When my husband was in the pool with the kids, it was really something to see, as the water seemed to take him back to his childhood and my kids loved it.

I remember the years before we put a pool at our house (the pool was purchased for the first grandchild when he was three). At that time there was a swimming pool in Jefferson City, but nowhere else in Jefferson County. Gold Rush Junction had a great pool open for membership and we frequented it five days a week. Later, we joined the club at the Sevierville Golf Course, continuing our five-day-a-week visits. When Jefferson County built a pool, my family was among the first season ticket holders. While swimming in Sevierville, we enjoyed two or three hours of pool play a day and a regular stop at Kaye’s Ice Cream for a dip of coconut ice cream (necessary after smelling my tanning oil).

My daughter and son were quite proficient swimmers from an early age. As my daughter was the oldest, we decided to give her swimming lessons. Well, let’s just say, they did not work, as she never got past the blowing bubble stage. So, her dad decided that he would teach her to swim. In one afternoon, at the lake, he had her swimming like a little duck, and enjoying every minute of it. Her brother was a different story. We did not go the swimming lessons route, I just taught him very early (he started in diapers). As a matter of fact, he was a little too brave sometimes. At one point he decided to swim the long length of the pool. The life guard and I were both watching, at full alert, as he was so young; we thought he would not be able to make the length and he was in the middle of the pool, not close to the side. To our astonishment, he met his goal.

The summers were so much fun for both my children, as there were always friends at the pool. My daughter later took up guard duties. I was saddened to see the county pool close, but it was long after my children were grown and my grandchildren had a private pool via grandma and grandpa.

Each summer the pool is alive with the sounds of delightful swimmers, and I have the joy of watching, counting, judging as my children, both young and older, enjoy the water, making the swimming pool one of the best investments my husband and I ever made.