Showing posts from May, 2010

Things that go Boom

When Judy Garland sang, “Somewhere over the rainbow” I wonder if the pilots on the shuttle Atlantis were inspired when they were young by the lyrics, “Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow. Why, oh why can’t I?” Twelve days ago, Atlantis and six astronauts took off for one last mission and I missed it.

When we heard the loud boom and then a softer boom, in the pool this morning at 8:48 none of us recognized the sound of Atlantis reentering the atmosphere. In retrospect, it did sound like a sonic boom.

Seeing as we are at war and our current culture is on guard for terrorist attacks, one person said, “I hope I don’t see a mushroom cloud.” Another said, “Don’t even joke about that sort of thing.” I felt a cold chill run through my body. The lifeguard said, "My chair shook!" Then, someone said, “It must have been an explosion from a plant in Ft. Lauderdale.” Then we feared for the lives of those people. The pool was quiet. We stopped moving and looked up…

Choose your career wisely

We are shaped by our careers. Each and every one of us is. I never realized how true that statement was until this morning in class with my swim mates.

One of the gray haired ladies was making her way from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end where Amy and I were pumping water weights and peddling our heavy water shoes in reverse with out touching the bottom. Wading toward us she questioned, “I can't do this. How are you two doing with this one?” Our voices bounced from the water to the incoming older woman’s ears. “Great!” We shouted sounding like an old “Tony the Tiger” commercial. The woman sloshed back to her side of the pool picked her feet off the bottom, struggling peddling and pumping the heavy water.

Amy, my swim mate turned toward me and quietly out of the side of her mouth she confessed,
“I wasn’t going to tell her that this was killing my hamstrings and that my biceps are totally shot.”

No shit I proclaimed, we’re in sales!

Cupid is a Latin Mother

One of the female YMCA members brought breakfast wrapped in foil, every morning for one of the male lifeguards and swooned over him. This behavior went on for days and finally, I looked at the guy in the pool next to me and whispered, “Why does she do that?” “She’s trying to recruit Hunt as her future son in law.” He laughed.

I’ll admit, on the surface, he would make a good son in law, tall, handsome, out going, nice, and respectful; but, there is no way I would bring him breakfast every morning and gush over him. It’s just strange.

Today when we filed into the pool at 7 AM and said our hellos to the young college age Hunt perched six feet up in his life guard chair, none of us imagined what was coming next.

The gate to the pool flew open crashing metal on metal and Lala the Hispanic want to be future mother-in-law thundered toward Hunt hotter than flaming hell salsa on a chetto chip. Like a freight train on a track she was unstoppable. She halted at the base of Hunts chair, throwin…

“S” and “F” Words

There are two ladies I recently met in my morning swim class that moved to Florida from S. Africa. They both have beautiful sing song voices. It's truly a pleasure to listen to them. I’ve noticed they use fun words with built in zest that Americans just don’t use, not often anyway.

When I do something correct in our swim class, the one lady will say, “Robyn you are a star!” with emphasis on the word “Star.” I don’t know about you but, I rather like being called a star. They say phrases like, “Aren’t you just sporty today” or “Look how spectacular we are!” or “This is quite splendid,” all the while sounding very cherry and feminine. I adore them. I didn’t know it until I met them but they use a lot of words that begin with the letter “S”.

They also use a lot of “F” words, “Fun”, “Fantastic” and “Fabulous.” Hearing all those “S” and “F” words makes my day a little brighter. Try it.

They Even Have Belly Dancing

The swim mates are multiplying! When I started three weeks ago there were about 10 regulars, then it quickly grew to 15 and today we had 19 chatter bugs in sparkling blue YMCA pool.

I am auditory. I can listen to several conversations at once, the direct conversation I’m engaged in, the instructor’s shouts, the person’s conversation next to me and the person next to the person next to me. There is a constant buss in the pool. With 19 people it is crazy- like a noisy restaurant.

Maybe that’s why we always seem to talk about food. Zipping along, rolling my water weights and jogging forward in the deep end as if I was running to rescue a drowning child I hear, forget that conversation. I can’t repeat what I heard.

On to the next conversation, “Yes, that’s the one, it’s on Pines. They have to die for hummus.” Hum, I must interrupt; I yell two rows over, “To die for hummus? Where?”

“Mazza” they yell back.

I’m genuinely interested; I throw my voice through grunts, sounds of other interest…

I Left My Panties On

By the time the sun was rising over the ficus hedges on the other side of the chain link fence surrounding the YMCA pool, the swim mates were at it again.

Ellie forgot something, poking her naked toes out of the water in my direction, her raspy voice groaned, “I forgot my swim shoes.” Then sighed, “It will be OK though I am only here for an hour today.”

Hans piped up, “What? Do you have another massage to go to?”
“Silly man- No, I have a doctor’s appointment.”

Hans was wearing a white ball cap, and dark mirrored glasses. All I could see was his big grin. “Ellie, tell Robyn about your last massage.”

“You mean my only massage.”

Bobbing up and down slowing down, pacing myself with Ellie so I could hear.“Tell me.”

“Oh, my husband bought me a massage for my birthday. He thought it would be nice since I was sore from the water classes. I wasn’t too thrilled about it but he assured me that a woman was going to massage me. So, I scheduled the appointment at the Red Door Spa and I went a…

Quote of the day

"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Athena’s Owl

My youngest daughter is getting a tattoo of Athena’s owl. I did a little checking as per her request and Athena is the Greek goddess of Wisdom. If it were a Jeopardy question, I would have got the money on that one. That's about all I knew.  So, I did some Internet snooping.  According to hoaryredpoll in his blog The Night Jar, he states, “As well as the patron goddess of the city of Athens. If you look closely, you will find she always has an owl with her.” He continues,

“Why the owl? 1) The light that reflects off their eyes in the dark which gave the appearance of an ‘inner light’ or Wisdom and 2) This is the most likely cause, a particular species of Owl was common on top of the Acropolis of Athens. Since that hilltop was dedicated to Athena, the Greeks took the fact that there were so many owls present as them being sacred to Athena. As a result the owl and Athena have been linked and the owl has come to represent Wisdom in many later cultures, heck right down to owl in Winn…

Quote of the day

"Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, Small minds discuss people."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Swim Mates

A little over two weeks ago I joined a pool workout group that begins at 7 am and ends two hours later. I expected the typical group YMCA workout experience, with a few grunts and groans, no one overly chummy and no talking during class; but, the water class is completely the opposite. It's like being in a sitcom. It is hysterical.
Imagine the instructor a size 6 woman, dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty, flexible as a yoga instructor, tight as a teen and as loud and colorful as a Mexican garden. Nothing gets by her. She must have been one of those kids who drove her parents crazy. She knows all the tricks.

The swim mates range in age from 35 to 88, men and women. There are about 15 regulars. They never stop talking or as our instructor screams, "Are you knitting again? You were talking so much you did not hear the instructions and you are doing it all wrong!" For the new members she adds, "In my country, when the ladies get together and gossip, we call that knitting.&qu…

Foreign Dreams

Last night, it was a clear and I knew I was dreaming while I was dreaming. Nevertheless, I was struggling to speak French in a French market. There was an unusually plump woman behind large baskets of produce who seemed to be in charge of the place. The smells of everything green and growing filled my nasal cavity. All I wanted was a bundle of scallions and some tomatoes and there were none. "Bonjour" I said to the woman. Smiling she replied, "Bonjour". "What would you like?" She said this in French but I couldn’t remember how to say what I wanted. And now, I have no idea how to say it let alone write it. Sadly most of the French I learned in grade school, high school and college has left the brain.

Back to the veggies, it is probably not important that I wanted scallions and tomatoes; but, it is important to note that I found it difficult to communicate what I wanted. Freud would be proud. So, I know what I want but I am in foreign territory trying to ge…