Monday, July 7, 2008

Catching the summer tide

Cooling off in the summertime is something I haven't thought about in a while. These days I'm so tied to the computer - and air conditioning - that I hardly think about what I'd do if the AC went out. Luckily, I haven't had to find an alternate cooling method this year, but back in the pre-historic days of my youth, we didn't have AC.

Swimming was our number one way to cool down. My family lived in a tidal area on the Georgia coast. On the incoming tide, we could jump off the shrimp docks and float around two river bends up to the small dock near our house. We reversed the route at low tide. There were oysters in the creek, so we always swam with sneakers on to keep from getting our feet all cut up.

The only rule about swimming was that everyone had to swim with a buddy. If you got tired or had a cramp or something, you just dog paddled over to the side of the creek and walked in the muddy marsh. Sometimes we did that just for fun.

We also had to sneak out of our houses without the dogs knowing where we were going. You did not want to go on a long swim with your dog because you would end up with claw marks from them trying to swim on top of you.

Once we got out, we lay on the dock to warm up again. If we were lucky, a parent would wander down to the Riverbank with a watermelon. Ah, summertime. What fun.

Happy summer reading!

Maggie Toussaint

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