With the official start of summer this week, I’m happy to say I’m back in the water again. To be specific, I’m back in “our front yard,” which is West Caroga Lake.
I’ve always been a water person. And I love the fact that in the water my arms and legs are moving freely in a way they can’t when I’m beached!?In the beginning, when I was still living in Cleveland, my family and I belonged to a swim club called Landerhaven Country Club. Here I remember swimming every day while my mom lay in the sun. We had a cabana where we would change into our bathing suits once we arrived at Landerhaven.
I remember my very first bikini; it was purple velvet with plastic rings on it which were at the hips and between the breasts. At the time I was seven or eight years old. I was still swimming in the kiddies end of the pool. This is where my love for swimming, bikinis and sun all began!
My family belonged to this club for many years.?My first job was as a life guard at Wiley pool in University Heights. I was a freshman in high school. I also taught children swimming lessons whose parents signed them up.
My next high school experience was my junior year. I was a swim cadet, which is a group of synchronized swimmers that perform shows twice a year.
I specifically recall treading water for a very long time while holding a candle. It was a group of eight swim cadets that made a routine in the water by making different formations.?Many years later I was vacationing with mom at the Gulf and Bay Resort in Siesta Key, Florida. This is after I had MS for several years and I was delighted to see that they had handicapped-accessible pools.
There was a lift that would lower me down into the pool, after which Herman and I would have long foam noodles. The noodles would hold me up and Herman and I would spend hours in the pool together.?Then I moved up to upstate New York, Fulton County to be exact. I joined the local Jewish community center and I drove there everyday to swim. Yes, I was still driving my Ford Tempo equipped with hand controls.
At first, I was able to get in the pool myself though it was hard. Then, they installed a handicapped lift much to my happy surprise!?Right now, I’m happy with the lake, where I sit in my manual chair. There’s nothing quite as wonderful!
I hope you all have the opportunity to enjoy the water as much as I do!
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake, in Fulton County. Her memoir, “In Kathryn’s Korner” can be found at Mysteries on Main Street, Canada Lake Store and www.lulu.com. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website www.kathrynskorner.com. You can also follow her on Facebook under Kathryn Phillips-Spira, where her weekly columns will also be posted.