Twenty-two days after its solstice, the sounds of summer returned to our neighborhood, necessary as the soft breeze that carried them.
Laughter danced around the southwest corner of the park, and drifted into our open windows. We welcomed back all the splashes, squeals, whistles, and boings. Then, lured by that happy cacophony, we headed over to enjoy the third iteration of Erb Park Pool on its very first day.
I felt like a kid when I dove off the diving board, and realized immediately upon smacking the water that I wasn’t anymore. I’ll fish my dignity out of that pool some other time.
Meanwhile, we had such fun!
Vince and I climbed nervously to the top of the cool twin water slides, he wondering about the slide’s circumference and I about the coverage capacity of my suit once I hit the water. We both decided the potential for fun outweighed any possible mortification.
As we waited our turn, we bumped into our little neighbor, Samantha.
“Hey Mom,” she yelled down to the pavement when she saw us. “Look! My friends are here!”
Vince challenged her to a race down the slide and the two friends, nearly half a century apart in age, took off. As we made our way back up the slide, Samantha gave us a few tips. The green slide is faster than the blue one, but you have to lay flat or you’ll bump your head.
At first, to her utter devastation, Samantha did not pass the height test to ride the slide.
“They told me I was too short this morning,” she said. “So, I went home and ate a good lunch. When I came back, I tried again and they let me go.”
That’s the secret to a happy summer — good nutrition, good neighbors and an excellent pool in which to enjoy them.
Congratulations to the Appleton Parks & Recreation Department, Miron Construction, and all of the passionate people who fought to save swimming here.
We’ll see you all at the pool.