Friday, April 09, 2004

The Old Swimmin' Hole

When I was little, it was great fun to go swimming. Every summer weekend, my brother, my friend & I would walk up to the community center and swim for an hour. I always craved nacho cheese Doritos after I was done...still do, actually. I've never figured that one out.

Anyway...lately I've lost the enthusiasm for swimming. There's a pool at the complex where my parents live and I can use it at any time during the summer. I used it once or twice the summer before and last summer not at all. It's just kinda boring to me now...floating around, getting pruney & sunburned.

The most fun I've ever had swimming, if you can call it that, was in 1985 in Grand Junction. Derek & I spent 6 weeks over there with our grandparents. They didn't swim in pools over there, at least our family didn't. They swam in canals. Down the road from grandma's place was a big canal that my mom and her siblings swam in when they were little. Grandpa used to take Derek & I and a couple of our cousins down there when he got off work that summer.

We could swim in the shallow part of the canal. One day I stepped on something squishy and was told people threw dead cats in there. Ummm...I never swam there again. I started floating on an inner tube. There was a bigger canal down the way that we started floating on. It took about an hour to float all the way to the drainage pipe where Grandpa would park on the bridge and pick us up.

There was one bridge in the middle of the course that we had to deal with. There were two options: either get out and walk around the bridge or swim underneath. I always swam underneath. I'd slip off the inner tube, hold my breath and go under, hoping I didn't crack my head on the wooden slats. Luckily I never did.

One day, Grandpa decided he was going to swim with us. He was floating along with Derek and they were coming up on the bridge. Grandpa asked him what he was going to do...get out or go under. Derek wasn't sure. He was thinking over his options. The bridge was getting closer. Still no decision. At the last minute, Derek decided to get out. However, this hadn't been obvious to Grandpa. Thinking he had not made his decision, Grandpa made it for Derek. He grabbed his curly little head and shoved him under the water as the bridge came up. He held him down until they passed the bridge.

Derek came up, sputtering, "YOU TRIED TO DROWN ME!!!" To this day. that's a raging debate between the two. Derek insists that he was being murdered while Grandpa says that he had everything under control all along. It's times like that we all remember the goat and the shovel story.

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