I am a Lake Lady.
My daughters coined that term to describe my passion for craving water in the summer sun.
Undoubtedly, these are the marks left on my soul from a childhood lived on a lake: I find any form of water-related activity to be irresistible, and I'm drawn to running hoses, wading pools, bubbling streams, lazy rivers, and of course, any sort of lake, like a pig to mud.
For that matter, I don't mind a nice mud puddle either.
I consider it perfectly normal to wake up on a warm summer morning and put on a swim suit. Even if I have no other plans than meandering around my backyard, this has been deeply ingrained in me: hot days are for swim suits. And I wear it all day long.
This is Lake Culture life, and even though I'm decades deep into this non-lake suburban lifestyle, I can't stop, won't stop.
Because it's true. I am indeed a Lake Lady.
* * * * *
Now it bears mentioning that my husband holds a different opinion. He is what I would call a Terra Firma Gent because he has zero interest in water-related activities.
No one's perfect. At least he does our taxes.
So the idea of settling down in a lakeside cottage somewhere, or navigating a sailboat through local waters, is not really in the cards for me. But there's one dream that still burns within me.
A backyard pool.
Now there are reasons good and bad to invest, oh, upwards of fifteen grand into a big blue hole in my backyard, and while I've pondered every angle of this dilemma for years, I'm currently stuck on one key issue:
Here in the Pacific Northwest, swimming weather lasts maybe two months. For the cost of constructing and maintaining a pool year round, that's not a lot of bang for the buck. Yes, I could heat it and extend the swimming season, but there will still be many months of the year in which I'd be staring at my money pit, unable to put it to good use.
On the other hand, two months of swimming in my own back yard sounds like pure heaven.
* * * * *
As spring has crawled toward summer in this season of quarantine, I've been particularly itchy to get to some water. I know a lot of people are carefully venturing out to the mountains, the beaches, even the local lakes, to partake of summer fun but that is just not for me. Until Covid is wrestled into submission, I'm planning to recreate entirely on my own property.
Which would have made this an ideal time to pull the trigger on that pool.
But alas, the timing slipped away from me and I've found myself smack dab in the middle of a glorious summer with nowhere to swim.
Until a few weeks ago, when a glorious plan began to take shape in my head:
Kiddie wading pools just don't cut it for me, but this year, more than ever, there seem to be a bevy of generously proportioned inflatable pools floating around on the internet.
And while even an massive blow-up pool does not allow for proper swimming, it could allow me to float.
Ah, what could be more lifegiving that drifting around a pool on an air mattress,
cool water below as the sun warms from above,
safe and secure on a bubble of bobbing comfort,
adrift on a sea of sensory satisfaction.
And so, with a few flicks of my finger, I ordered myself my own personal sized backyard pool complete with floating mattress. And today, I got it all set up and climbed in.
^ The air mattress fits perfectly into the pool. With great ceremony, I laid first the inflated mattress on the floor of the empty pool, then climbed in to lie down on top of it, and pulled the running hose in after me. I was hoping that if I was patient enough, the water would eventually fill the pool to to the point where I would suddenly begin to float. My experiment worked like a charm, and my first half hour of soak time was pure delight
^ Serendipitously, the pattern on my new air mattress matches exactly to a floatie ring I bought three years ago in Mexico.
Here's a quick glimpse of it that year, popping up in the background of a photo of fish tacos.
And here's an even tinier peek of those same bright flowers, in a story about my second trip to Cabo, in which I wax poetic about my passion for swimming. Ha. Lake Lady strikes again.
The fact that this same tropical print of flamboyant flowers and lush green leaves has popped back into my life tells me that I'm on the right track.
^ So in a spirit of fellowship and good fun, I brought my ring out for some sunshine too.
^ After much deliberation, I decided to put the pool on the patio rather than in the yard so I could leave it set up for days at a time without any fear of destroying the grass underneath.And while that location means that I'll have to put up with a bit of midday shade, I'll still have long hours for lounging in full sun.
^ Gracie took the new blue beast in stride. Standing at the side of the pool, gently licking off the stray drops of water, she looked a bit wistfully at me bobbing about. But Gracie has her own pool and I suggested to her that she might want to climb in and swim with me.
I even offered to lend her my matching float ring which I think she would enjoy. Because I'm pretty sure that Gracie is a Lake Lady too.