The Washington Times - May 31, 2009, 11:22AM

You know it’s summertime in the heartland when community volunteers pitch in and get the local pool ready for our little swimmers. The pool in our small town is ran by a board of volunteers who keep it in tip- top shape all summer long. Things get a little precarious at times and fundraisers are held and donations taken in, but never has our little pool had to close due to a lack of funds – or good –hearted volunteerism.

We don’t have oceans but we do have beaches on our lakes and ponds to help keep us cool and to relax on.  My own pond does double duty year-round. It houses our geothermal coils that warm us in the dead of winter and will now cool us when the unrelenting heat and humidity of an Iowa summer bear down on us. Having lived in large, rambling houses most of my life, this is the first time I have ever lived in a home with heating and cooling in the upstairs. Aging farm homes were not made for modern comfort and conveniences.

My boys, especially my youngest, have taken me back to my own childhood summer days when me and my five brothers and sisters waited throughout the heat of the long summer days, not so patiently, for my dad to get home from work and give the word to jump in the pond! Dad usually came home to six kids bouncing up and down on the porch, begging to be released into the cooling waters.  And, unless he had to go somewhere, our sweltering wait was usually rewarded.

Now, as soon as my six-year-old rubs the sleep from his eyes, I am being repaid for my own youthful impatience. He wants to swim. He doesn’t even care if the temperatures haven’t risen above seventy degrees.  It is all he— and I— can stand to wait until after lunch when the air has warmed.  Although he doesn’t have the passel of siblings to swim with as I did, my middle son joins him from time to time and he has our five-year-old daschund, Scooter—always a faithful playmate when it comes to the pond.

As for me, I will wait for the weather to warm a bit more before I take the plunge!
Scooter swims with his boy.