~ Dr. Who
Strange Life of Ivan Osokin
LIKE RIDING A BICYCLE
21 August 2004
I think the last time I was in a swimming pool was at least 25 years ago. Maybe 20. It was probably in my parents' pool when they were still married and the kids were...well...kids.
I didn't even own a bathing suit until about 3 years ago, after I'd lost about 50 lbs. Olivia had the great idea that we would go on weekend biking trips. She especially wanted to bike up in the wine country and she said that we'd stay at motels, bike during the day and swim at night. She insisted I get a bathing suit, so I did.
Then we never did any of those trip and the suit lay untouched in a drawer.
I took the suit to Australia with me. I didn't really think I'd have occasion to use it, but I wanted to be prepared. And I was right--I didn't have occasion to use it.
The suit went back in the drawer again.
The day before I packed for this trip, I received an e-mail from Phyllis (our hostess) saying she had a pool and to bring a suit. I didn't really think I'd use it 'cause we wouldn't have time, but I hauled it out of the drawer and tried it on. I'd gained weight since I bought it.
Now, I tried it on after a shower and I've written about how difficult it is for me to dress after a shower. It fit--barely. But it was better than nothing and so it went into the suitcase.
The plan for today was to go to Ocean City (New Jersey, not Maryland) and spend the day on the beach and/or Boardwalk. But by 8 a.m., it was so hot and humid outside that the windows fogged up and after each of us set foot on the back deck, we collectively decided that staying at home either in the air conditioned house or in the pool was preferable to driving for an hour to walk around on a muggy boardwalk.
The time had come.
Would the bathing suit fit?
Did I even remember how to swim?
Well, it did and I did. It felt a little strange being in a pool again and, contrary to what may be popular belief that it's like riding a bicycle--it comes back to you--I was surprised that it wasn't as intuitive as I'd anticipated (especially after a week of Olympic swimming events, in which I'd participated vicariously.).
But there I was. In a bathing suit. In a pool. To prove it, I made sure there was photographic evidence.
I have to admit I loved it. In fact, I would have stayed in longer but (a) I was afraid I'd get sunburned, and (b) I was starting to shrivel into raisins, so I eventually got out and dried off. But it was an absolutely delightful morning, and so much better than fighting crowds and humidity.
Phyllis ordered pizza for lunch and we sat around munching pizza and waiting for the last of our group to arrive from Virginia.
Phyllis also had a couple of DVDs and Mary had brought DVDs, so we sat down to watch while waiting for Sharon.
After she got here there were gifts to open--we had all brought "goodie bags" for everyone (I now have tons of new craft supplies) and we had all brought gifts for Phyllis' birthday (Monday).
By now it was getting later in the afternoon and, since it would cool off when the sun set, we headed off to Ocean City at dusk rather than in the heat of the day and that was fun.
We checked out the beach, visited lots of shops and stopped at a little stand for dinner. I had the largest crab cake I've ever eaten (and it was so much better than most crab cakes because it was made only with crab meat and something to "bind" it and none of that Old Bay stuff that I hate!).
We bought stuff and candy and wandered in and out of more shops and past the rides on the boardwalk.
Ultimately returned to the cars around 9:30 for the trip home, then spent a lot of time--again--admiring our handiwork on all those wonderful books we've created.
Now that we are finally all here, tomorrow we are having a "craft day" and doing some decorating here, so we can all get a feeling for each other's techniques. Tomorrow night some other folk--including a Brasilian--are coming for dinner (I can see how rusty my Portuguese is).
I take it all back. It wasn't a mistake to come. I'm having a wonderful time and I'm glad I'm here.