Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Ghost of Summer Past



"It is I, the Ghost of Summer Past."

So begins one of Charles Dickin's lesser known works, "A Summer Carol."

Last January, while still in California, we celebrated John's birthday with a day visiting various nature spots that have been special to us as a family through the years. One of them is a little spot by Sutter's Creek where we like to play in the water. It was a beautiful day, and while the kids didn't swim, they were perfectly comfortable splashing around and getting wet.

That was January. It is now April.

It is high time for spring weather to get here, and if the weather is staying stubbornly cold, that is no reason to let it dictate my actions! If I want it to be spring, I must BE the spring. Lead by example. Boldly pioneer. And that is how I came to be the Ghost of Summer Past.

Really, people, I was white before I came to North Dakota. The first time in a swim suit after a winter of living indoors, locked away from sun and warmth, is not a pretty thing. I looked like a beluga whale. An albino beluga whale. But what else would I wear to go swimming in?

Laura had made a solemn covenant with me. "We both have to go all the way under." That lasted right up until we were out by the "pool." Suddenly, even though she claimed to be perfectly warm, she decided to only go up to her knees. Chicken. We paused for a moment to do some sunbathing, ("Laura! Hurry up and take the picture. The snow is melting and soaking through!")then it was time for a refreshing dip.

Laura was all set up to take my picture because I did not anticipate staying in the water for a lengthy modeling session. I walked in, posed for a 'before' shot....

Like a beluga whale breaching, I dove into the water. Then tragedy struck. I emerged to hear Laura say, "I pushed the wrong button, Mom. I'm sorry."

Sorry. SORRY!? I'm the one that's SORRY!

I warmed up a moment or two with the blanket, then went back for round two. I was feeling very refreshed by then, because painful as it was, a cold bath followed by warm sun is very good for you. Not good enough to do twice and like it, but good for you. This time I played it safe and had her video it so she was bound to get some of the action. It sounds like she squeals when I go under, but that is actually me screaming underwater.

All in all, an educational experience. I came away very enriched with some useful lessons. #1: April is definitely too early for swimming, no matter how nice everything looks. #2: Mind over matter can only take you so far. #3: I am glad I was not on the Titanic when it went down in icy, arctic waters. #4 A little tanning before any public swimming outings would be a good thing. #5: Nothing like snow melt to bring a little color to the complexion. Red.


  1. OK, I realize I'm posting as you, and I'm not you, but the whole switching users thing is such a pain. LOVED the video, especially the last expression on your face, which is what remains in the frame when the video is over. You're nuts.

  2. I don't know what you're talking about, Mom. I was merely doing my facial toning exercises.

  3. Are you up-to-date with your polio vaccines?

  4. Wow, you're really brave -- I've lived in the midwest for 56 years but I wouldn't have the nerve to try that! (Anyway, the last time I owned a bathing suit was forty pounds ago.☹)