The indoor pool where I swim has regulars who attend and work out at the same time that I swim. Since I’ve been swimming there for over thirty years, people come and go. Continue reading “go bigger” »
My friend retired years ago and we see each other at the athletic club. He runs in the pool while I swim laps. We talk about things from time to time as we do our workouts. Continue reading “more than teeth” »
“How are you this fine day?”
I remember my mother asking a clerk that question, and she received a warm smile by asking. My mom decided she to be nice that day, and people were nice to her. Continue reading “make it a great day” »
When I was twelve, my father blacked out at the nearby Strawberry recreation pool and slipped on its deck, split his elbow open, blood everywhere. I don’t know how he made it home. The next morning, he sat outside on our patio, remorseful and bloated, with a huge white gauze bandage around his punctured elbow. Continue reading “drunk man’s daughter” »
Summer came and I sang nonstop because grass was so green and sky was so blue. My seventh grade best friend Lindy and I hung around Tiburon’s Angel Island ferry dock, at Main Street’s Penny Arcade behind Bird and Hound Clothing. Continue reading “kissing a doorknob” »
I started sixth grade with every popular kid in the school in my class, but I played on fringes of cool land. Like any class, we had our share of major dip shits, the poor freckle-faced girl who picked her nose and ate it in front of us, just about killing us all. I was hard to ignore, being the tallest kid in the class, five foot-eight inches, shoulder length hair. Girl hair in the mid-sixties was in-between the singers Brenda Lee with the beehive and Cher’s straight long black mane. Continue reading “no more secrets” »
My family pulled the Pontiac into Marin County’s Bel Aire Estates driveway in 1956, and Helen watched us unload our car. She was my age and we grew up together. Continue reading “Helen tribute” »
I love music so much. I remember where and when songs played in my life. My first kiss occurred in seventh grade, with George, under a pool table at Korinne Koltoff’s house, while her juke box played the Beach Boys’ Surfer Girl. My friends loved the Beatles, but I resonated with Brian Wilson Beach Boys’ harmonies and their tender sounds. I was a Stinson Beach body surfer girl. Continue reading “I wish he knew” »
My mom had a cigar box full of swimming medals she earned as a champion of three states, if you call Washington DC a state, along with Virginia and Maryland. Her mother kept loads of newspaper clippings of her wins during adolescence. People said she swam like a bullet. Then she went away from swimming, but she had confidence from those years in the pool.
I learned how to swim during summers at Tam High School in Mill Valley, and spent hours playing ‘tea party,’ diving off the high dive into twelve-feet, so deep I wanted to hold onto the side.
I decided to join the swim team in High School, after my sophomore Biology teacher showed the class two lung slices, one who smoked, and a non-smoker, I was so grossed out I stopped smoking cigarettes (after six years at that point). Talk about bathing suits we wore, ordered to wear by our coaches, black tanks with straps in back and saggy butts. Five days a week workouts, for at least two hours. We shared lanes and did all the strokes, back, free, breast and butterfly. Kickboards were a big part, too, over and over. Continue reading “Swimming for life” »
Ten years ago, Jennifer asked me to be her spiritual advisor as she died of an inoperable brain tumor. Of course I said yes, but really felt ill equipped to be somebody’s spiritual advisor. She was my neighbor, people called her Skeeter as a child, because she was such a fast swimmer. I miss that woman, and she taught me how to be brave. Tuesday’s with Morrey by Mitch Albom had recently come out, and I read it, so Jennifer and I could talk about her process. I told her Morrie’s parable about the little wave. Continue reading “Little Wave” »