When I was a little girl, I thought I could do everything. If I just tried hard enough. That’s how I learned to whistle. That’s how I learned to jump rope. That’s how I learned to swim. I didn’t think of it as work, or perseverance, or competition, or any of those grown up words. I just thought it was finding a way to get what I wanted. I was pretty good at it, too.
Once after my big sister Deanna and I, and Nancy, Deanna’s best friend from across the road, learned how to swim, our dads took us way, way out in the lake on inner tubes. I loved to swim. I could swim all day, I liked it so much.
The two dads swam out over their heads with us three girls on our inner tubes. Nancy had a huge inner tube from a tractor. That was the best fun ever, cuz about six kids could fit on that inner tube all at the same time. Deanna and I just had regular old inner tubes that had a bunch of patches on them cuz they were finally no good for anything except swimming. My dad believed in patching stuff up until there were more patches than stuff.
Nancy’s dad bought her inner tube from the gas station: no patches. They were rich.
Way, way out in the lake was a sand dune. Once we all got out there, we got off the inner tubes and Continue reading