Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Double Butt-Bumpers, and Other Water Sports

It's a scorcher here today, 97 degrees.  It doesn't help that I have really special air-conditioning in my car. It works if I'm not accelerating. So I'm the crazy car pulling away from the light at supersonic speed, reaching cruising altitude, taking my foot off the gas, and THEN the fan blows again. Once I'm at speed, I can push ever so slightly on the gas, and the fan will keep blowing. However, I do most of my driving as a taxi-cab, so it isn't often I can really get the car cool. This totally reminds me of the (one) summer Farmor and Farfar came to visit from Sweden.

Up until the summer of 1976, they had always visited during the winter, but they wanted to try a summer in America. In Maryland. In the humidity. They didn't know what they were getting into. Sweden is a country where they count sun-days, as in, “The summer of '47 we had 16 sun-days.” As in the sun came out that day. A summer high is in the 70s.

It was a good thing that it was also the summer we got a family membership to a private swimming pool club nearby. We spent almost every day there. Farmor especially suffered from the heat. I remember giving up my seat in the front so that she could aim all the AC vents her way, but still, by the time we got to the pool, she'd be soaked. She'd get out of the car and declare, “Det är varmt I America!” It's warm in America. That is a saying we still use in our family. Farfar would reply, “Ja, något so collosalt!” Yes, so colossally! Can you imagine the climate change?

We did enjoy the pool. I learned to jump off the high dive. My sister and I invented double-butt bumpers. Bear with me here, use your imagination, and try to picture this. We hold hands, hold our breaths, we have our feet touching, and as we go under water, we try to bump our butts together. It's a trick with about a one in six chance of success. We tried forever before we ever hit our first one. Yes, this is weird. If you don't have a sister, or a brother, you probably won't ever understand where games like this come from.

We also learned to do somersaults underwater, how to swim the length of the pool in one breath, and how to stay cool during adult swim. We hated adult swim. We'd sit on the edge of the pool, like the good little girls we were (12 and 10) until the lifeguard starting flirting with the other lifeguard, and then we would lightning fast slide off the edge, dunk under water, and lickety split be back up on the edge picking our fingernails by the time they looked again. Only got caught once. “Sorry, I slipped.” “Don't “slip” again”.

It was a good summer, but the heat took it's toll on my beloved Grandparents. They didn't come back for a summer again, and we never had a pool membership again, but the phrase remains, “Det är varmt I America!” It sure was in Colorado today.

Do you like the heat, or are you heat phobic like me? Have you ever played ridiculous pool games with a sibling? Please tell...


Rachel said...

I don't handle the heat well at all. Its actually made me pass out on occasion, so I like to be inside where I'll be cooler. That being said, when I was younger and lived near my grandparents, NOBODY could get me out of that pool unless I was starving. Most of the time, my grandpa would bring out chips and homemade salsa that we would eat in the pool. I was scolded many times for dropping the food into the water, but hey, never drowned a phone when my dad called so I consider that a good thing. haha

Brian Miller said...

ha. i lived in MD i know what it feels should send them to florida that is a scorcher...i dont mind the heat but i have grown use to it...we just went to the pool yesterday...teaching my boys to jump off the high dive..

JoJo said...

I hate the heat. I miss living in Washington with their cool, short summers with only a few days of hot weather. I hate the humidity of New England and hide all summer, out of the sun. It was easier to take as a kid b/c my aunt had a pool so I was there all the time but it sucks to take a shower and get soaked with sweat just toweling off. I only moved back here w/ the promise of a/c which my honey dutifully installed in our rental house b/f I moved in.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. oh I pity you - too much heat is too much .. I'm not that brilliant in the heat either.

Occasionally we have fry ups here .. it reached 100 a few times this century .. but I've forgotten when!

Love the way your grandparents phrase has slipped into your mainstream speak for colossal hot days ..

.. then all that pool time - no wonder you became pool babies .. and had so much fun together .. good thing the lifeguard wanted to flirt! They sounded strict ... so I guess you were lucky they only caught you once ...

Lovely post - the air conditioning in the car .. sounds a pain - but I don't have it in my car .. can understand the need though.

I'm phobic about the heat .. just wish we had some in England at the moment - I think we're in the northern hemisphere and it should be summer?!

Double bump bummers .. even I might have got to do those if the weather was that hot!

Cheers to you .. and manage that heat somehow - I've blown some over - it's damp and drizzly here ... enjoy life whatever the weather .. and you do thankfully - Hilary

loverofwords said...

But in Colorado it cools down at night. Let's hope it cools down enough today to help the fire fighters, but it does not look good. Can you see the plume of smoke from where you live? We are about 40 miles away from the Black Forest fire. Does this happen in Sweden? Forest fires, I mean where homes are endangered?

D.G. Hudson said...

I avoid the heat, have always disliked it, whether dry or muggy. I think some of us are internally hotter than others (as opposed to externally - ha!)

Certain spots in the states and Canada are extremely muggy and hot. I used to wilt when I lived in Georgia. I can handle the cool north very well, though. I enjoyed that story, Tina!

Silvia Villalobos said...

My sister and I had secret signals. We'd look at one another in a certain way to communicate something -- most times a like or dislike.
Love your butt-bumper story. I bet you two still laugh about it today.
And poor grandma and grandpa.
I'm not crazy about heat, but I don't really like very cold weather either. Luckily it doesn't get very cold in So Cal., but it does get very hot, and that's when we run in and wait for the evenings when it's beautiful.

LD Masterson said...

Summer is always a challenge for me because hate having the house closed up (for the A/C) but I'm not a fan of sweltering either. And then there's my husband who thinks it's time to put on the A/C if the temperature climbs above 75.

But I love sitting at my computer with the window open, listening to the birds and other summer noises, and have one of those delicious cool breezes blow in. Beats A/C any day.

CA Heaven said...

I prefer snow and winter. That's the best part of the year. Since I've been living in the north most of my life, I call it good summer if it's above 60 Fahrenheit (15 Celcius). Btw, you're still writing Swedish very well >:)

Cold As Heaven

Andrew Leon said...

Well, I grew up in the south where we had at least 80% humidity pretty much all year. We'd even have days of 100% humidity when it wouldn't rain. They called those days "super-saturated." We didn't measure the days by what temp it was but by the heat index, which told us how it felt.

I grew up hating the summer, including swimming, really.

These days, though, now that I've gotten so that I'm cold all the time, I don't mind the heat. Of course, I live in a place with no humidity, now.

Patsy said...

I like hot sunny weather if all I need do is read a book and sip cocktails, but even then I prefer a bit of a breeze (ideally from the sea)

I live in the UK though so heat isn't something I have to cope with on a regular basis!

Lucy said...

I loved the story, I just love hearing peoples stories it delights me.
Anyway, I love Sunny and hot, and growing up in Ohio I know all about summer and humidity BUT now that I have been spending so much time in Arizona I can't stand the humidity, and I whine about it, you would never know I actually grew up in the Midwest, I am acting like a big baby, surprising,right? LOL

Lucy from Lucy's Reality

Andrea said...

I max out at around 80 degrees (maybe 83 if there is no humidity and some shade)....bleah

Deniz Bevan said...

I love the heat but never the humidity. Sweating is no fun! Give me dry heat any day... It's fun to hear about a perspective from a different country. I hadn't realised they counted sun days like that in Sverige!

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

don't like the heat... i am like a furnace... all ready. don't like being in pools my silly phobias of little kids you, know.. i will be in the fridge until further notice.

Shannon Lawrence said...

My siblings were so much younger than me that I don't recall any games with them, but I do have various pool games with my best friend of the time. Funnily enough, it was in Maryland for me, too. Man, it was so hot in the summer. One game was for my friend and I to go through the Labyrinth "You remind me of the babe" song, shooting lines back and forth and jumping in on "remind me of the babe." Makes no sense now, but it was great fun to do it every time and leap in the water together.

I remember the lifeguards letting me "test" for lifeguard training, as well. I'd never had swim lessons, but they humored me and told me what I had to be able to do. They didn't give me a brick to tread water with, though.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Romance Reader said...

I loved your post. We live in a hot, humid country. So need water sports all year around!