While at the pool today, I atypically struck up a conversation with a mother whose son recently joined the Navy. She was chattering away and slipped into the conversation how she had red blotches on her face “too” and it turned out to be merca. She quickly recommended the steam room to me as a way to treat and resolve this red skin problem. A question mark started to develop but I wasn’t quite sure where it would lead. I finished my swim and headed to the showers and changing room. After donning my street clothes I glanced into the mirror and noticed that my nose looked bright red in a triangular shape, much like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

I hustled out to the parking lot and studied my nose further in my rearview mirror. “Strange” I thought.  I happened to look down and noticed bright red marks also appearing on both arms. My mind raced to thoughts of the bottle of anti-histamine still rattling around in my purse from a previous use. I also realized that I was a quick drive away from the only emergency room on Cape Cod, but once I drove home, I would be heading in the opposite direction. It seemed likely I was having an allergic reaction and I quickly downed one of the pills. I decided to then take my chances and drive home.

My second strategy was to phone my husband and let him know what was going on in case I soon became unable to talk. I calmly relayed my concerns and told him I would see him soon. I started to feel unwell on the drive and wondered if I should pull over. Just keep going and I did.

I arrived home and laid on the coach, elaborating on the details of how I had noticed the “hives” and perhaps I was reacting to the pool chemicals, etc. filling my husband with details should I become commatose.

As I was explaining, I put my hand over the red marks on my arms and noticed it felt hot to the touch. Hmm, as though sunburned. My husband asked if I had by any chance spent time outdoors today. Wa-wa-wa. I never spend time outdoors at work, but it just so happens that today, we did have a one-hour meeting at the outside table in full sun.

My New Digs, My New Day

IMG_20170611_120507.jpg(“New” bag from Consigning Women – need a punch of pink for summer on Cape Cod!)

My pool venue ended on May 25th at the Bayside Resort – winter-season-only-don’t-you-know! It forced me into a pool finding frenzy and now I have it – the mostly perfect location for my 60-plus minute daily swims. With the new venue, this is what I now enjoy: an oversized indoor pool; generous hours including weekends; available year round; no black out times; life guard always on duty; towels provided both poolside and in the shower area; spa quality showers including spa products for member use; reasonable rate; and last but not least — the kids are scarce and DO stay out of the two, dedicated, ADULT ONLY swimming lanes!!! (fanfare playing softly)

Last Swim


My hotel pool is closing to local swimmers now that summer is on its way. On my second to last trip to the pool, a healthy, ten-year old girl kept cannon balling behind me as I attempted to do laps. The fall out was extreme and the waves prevented me from swimming for a full three minutes. I also found it highly startling. She would then swim perpendicular to my pool length laps.  Her mother was close by and never said a word. I looked at the mother and informed her of my PTSD. “Oh is she bothering you?” she asked demurely…

I know when my number is up.  I decided that although I never miss a swim, perhaps it would not serve me well to go to the pool on the next and very last day of the season. That is what I decided when my swimming friend called and asked if I ‘d like to join her at the pool for the last time. Well, safety in numbers I thought and I agreed. I was happy to have this cheerful last swim. I arrived and my friend was already in the water and no children in sight. Sigh of relief.

Over the season, I developed several defensive maneuvers to keep obnoxious children and their parents at bay, such as positioning myself as near to the parents as possible so that they get splashed too; using my technique of treading water in place of lap swimming to stay out of the line of fire; praying out loud; looking a child in the eye while pointing out that I am old enough to be their grandmother; blocking out noise by humming or chanting loudly; swimming in a very slapping, splashing manner (just like kids do); fake coughing like I am sick and might vomit; take a stance as though I might be peeing; not bothering to wear my modesty cover-up in case someone might be offended; taking a slow time in the single use bathroom in case a screaming child might have to use the toilet urgently (this one is totally ineffective because most children pee in the pool).

For next year, I think I’ll sharpen my cannon ball skills.  That and a good Hail Mary may just save me.