I don’t remember learning how to swim. I was one of those little kids who just jumps into the swimming pool to see what happens so our dad taught me out of self preservation. (I think our mother would have killed us both if I’d have drowned.)
I must have learned at Montell. My kids learned the rudiments of swimming in the creek there and I probably did, too. The water there is a consistent 72 degrees since it comes out of a spring. I knew I was getting old when I didn’t want to jump in the water because it was too cold.
There’s something wonderful about being in the water. My favorite memories are water based memories. Salt water, fresh water, pool water. It doesn’t matter. As kids, we waited expectantly for the Live Oak County Country Club to open for summer. It was a brush country oasis.
The year my older sister got her driver’s license was the best. She endured MA and me for the chance to pilot our family car to the pool where we swam and listened to music like Surf City, Help Me, Rhonda, and Wipeout played on KTSA-AM out of San Antonio. It was there we had the great Beetles vs Monkees debate of 1968.
I have never been a skinny Minnie. I have a sense of weightlessness in the water and can drift aimlessly on my back. The water doesn’t know that I’m a double digit swimsuit wearer. It holds me up just the same as it does a thin person. Maybe better since I’ve got enough fat and water to make me buoyant. I joke about being able to serve as a flotation device, but it’s true.
If I’m not there, I’m told that you can use your pants as a flotation device. That’s assuming you didn’t fall in the water with your swimsuit on. Squirm out of your pants. Once your pants are off, get them in front of you while you continue to kick your legs to stay afloat. Quickly tie the end of each leg into a knot and close the waist and zipper.
Still kicking, squeeze as much water as you can from the pants and then wave them over your head to fill them with air. Once air is inside, knot off the waist area the best you can to keep it trapped and floating.
I have a hard time picturing someone trying to accomplish the pants flotation device thing in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. You better hope I’m with you.