Though I am married to a swimmer, I am not much for the water. I get that from my dad. Take us off land and put us in water and we pretty much sink. That was fun when Jerms and I were little. The two of us would tagteam him and dunk him repeatedly. Once on vacation, we did it too much after dinner and Dad vomited, proving that whole wait a half-hour before swimming thing true.
My mother was a swimmer. In fact, when she was a Link at Lincoln High, she was one of the synchronized swimmers. Unfortunately, I don’t have any shots of her in the water, but here’s one of her right around the time she would have been synching as a Link.
She does not swim anymore, but she took me to Lake Wilson yesterday so that I could get in and represent Katie in western Kansas waters while she’s up in Ithaca. I do not know much about Lake Wilson, except that it, like most of the lakes in Kansas is man-made. Also, because there is so much limestone in the area, the lake has a high salt-content, and also is quite blue, earning it the title of the “clearest lake in Kansas” in any Kansas lake pamphlet. See for yourself below.
When my dad and his brothers were younger, they went to Lake Wilson once in a small motorboat they borrowed from someone. The day he went, like Wednesday when Mom and I went, the water was quite choppy from the wind. He said the boat they were in died and he and his brothers nearly drowned trying to get it back to shore. Perhaps this is not a surprise given his own general land-lubberness.
Here is a picture of my dad and his brothers and cousins and grandma. My dad is the eldest. He’s in the lower right corner down on one knee. His youngest brother Paul is behind his left shoulder, and that’s their middle brother Ronnie there next to Paul in the swanky glasses. Behind them is the house where Mom & Dad now live.
There’s something a little contagious about this whole open water swimming deal. Like I said I’m not a swimmer, but when I’ve gotten in the lakes along the way, I’ve found myself really wishing I were. I wanted to swim past the ropes and out to the wake buoy so bad.
I got scared though. And mom hadn’t brought along her suit to jump in and rescue me. So in the end I just floated.
Which, it turns out, is pretty all right too.
After the dip, Mom and I went in to the town of Wilson where we tried to order onion rings and a chocolate shake and strawberry malt along with our cheeseburgers. They were out of everything but the cheeseburgers. But they were good, and we took long enough eating them so that the ice cream machine was working by the time we finished.
Then we went to the store for milk and pectin. Mom and pops have been all talk all week about making apricot jam. Here’s hoping that coalesces before I leave on Saturday.