The kids across the street have set up today’s version of the classic summer toy, the “Slip ‘n Slide”.
Back in my day, as the earth continued to cool, our Slip ‘n Slides were yellow and you used metal stakes to pin it to the ground. You learned quickly what to do and not to do: Never slide on it without water (RRRRIP….oh, there’s a hole in it. Let’s duct tape the other side), leave lots of room at the end so you can slide past it and not end up on a sidewalk, and avoid the sides so you didn’t scrape yourself on a metal clip.
Later on, the Whamo Water Wiggle arrived on the scene. It never really caught on that much and for good reason. First off, if it’s a hot day, you’d turn that on and it would wildly fling around, squirting water at you occasionally. Hey, that’s what big brothers are for!
Truth be told, when I think of my childhood and those hot summer days, I remember more often getting in and out of an inflatable wading pool or just plain running through the sprinkler.
As I grew older, there were swimming lessons at the Torrance Plunge (the community pool) and eventually, I was a junior lifeguard at Hermosa Beach. That was a couple of summers worth of fun, where we’d go down to the beach in our red bathing suits and learn how to swim out to a buoy and back to shore, a skill I still have.
In my teen years, I headed to lakes and learned to water ski with the girl from across the street. That was fun, until you fell. I had no idea how hard water could be!
You’ll notice a theme: water cools you down. There will come a time I’ll return to the world of boat ownership and that’s where you’ll find me when Seattle heats up. But until then, a cold libation and a box fan will have to do.
And actually, it’s a nice way to watch the world go by…..