Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Dale Girls on SUMMER VACATION!!!

(this is not my family. we were never this quiet. plus, no boys were allowed.)

When I was growing up, our household always had lots of exclamation points. Especially during the month of June. The four Dale girls looked forward to SUMMER VACATION!! with enthusiasm that bordered on hysteria, literally counting the days until the college POOL!!! opened and we could FINALLY!!!! GO SWIMMING!!!!!!!!!!!

A bit of explanation about the college pool ...

We grew up on a college campus, where Daddy taught music, and we were quite comfortable taking advantage of all the facilities. We would breeze into the library, standing on tip-toe to check out books while casually addressing the librarian's raised eyebrows with a simple explanation: "We're faculty."

We bought our school supplies in the college book store.

We knew the combination to Daddy's campus mailbox, and thought nothing of retrieving whatever might be in there.

We explored the arboretum, getting lost in the woods on purpose and eventually wandering out in time for dinner.

We never sat in on classes, but only because our attendance was required at Winthrop Elementary School during the day. I'm sure we would have felt quite comfortable barging into English Literature 204, completely oblivious to stares and whispers from the students who actually belonged there.

We were very nonchalant about the whole campus experience - except, as I said, the POOL!!!!

We would scamper into the dressing room, shower as quickly as possible, and wait by the locked pool door, in grave danger of hyperventilating, until FINALLY we heard the LIFEGUARD COMING!!! She would UNLOCK the DOOR and BAM!! we would hurtle through it, racing each other to be the first to BREAK THE WATER!!!! YAAAA!!!!!!!!

The campus community may not have always appreciated our enthusiastic and uninhibited scampering. But I'm glad I had a childhood where I was allowed to feel like a special little person, in a special little place.

They say that the sense of smell is a powerful trigger for memories of the past. And it's interesting ... to this day, some of my favorite scents are the dust from an old chalkboard, the musty aroma of a dark library, and the clean smell of chlorine that rises from a swimming pool sleek with undisturbed water, waiting for bare little legs and flailing arms and a happy shriek.



Rae said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I can picture myself in all those places. And I can smell the books and the chlorine too.

Libraries and pools -two of my favorite places. Thanks for helping me remember.

chicamom85 said...

What a nice story, thank you for sharing that. It made me happy.


A said...

That sounds like a wonderful way to grow up.

I love thinking about my summers as a kid...

Lauren said...

Looking forward to "breaking the water" of your "ool" in August!

Miss you guys!


AtomBomb said...

i have a Lemonade Stand Award for you on my blog

Fran Hill said...

Libraries, libraries. I love the smell of libraries. It's probably all the dust mite who smell, but hey, who cares? I also love REAL roses - not the artificial ones who say, 'Hey, look at me, I'm a rose' but don't smell of anything. I smell all roses as I walk past gardens to suss out the fakes. It's kinda slow walking to work sometimes.

Lesley said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed the post! Childhood memories are so special. And it's true, the smell of chalk or library dust or a swimming pool can bring back so many strong feelings.

AtomBomb, thank you for the Lemonade award! I do try to have a good attitude - if my attitude is bad, I post on my ranting blog instead. haha


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