To Speak or Not?

Some seem tone deaf to the ring of truth as they speak.
Is it that they believe their own words?
Perhaps they chatter without forethought of whether their words carry truth.

Careful speakers may be taken for sullen and silent.
Their lack of chatter may be assumed to be something it is not.
They offer the unfiltered thoughts in their mind, rather than be misinterpreted.
Some may call this brutal honesty.


Slavic Pool-Mates

Eastern Europeans in general seem to especially value the pool and spa.  They enjoy it as a family pastime, teach their children to swim at a young age, even use it as a social opportunity and meet friends there.  It fits in with their active lifestyle.  I hear their beautiful language and the young ones alternating between English and their parents native language, without missing a beat.  Fathers especially like to come with their three year-olds who swim like fish.  They also tend to linger over it.  The children are well-mannered and parents stay with their children and they play together.  Father swims laps carrying the wee one on his back.  Sometimes mother arrives later and takes the children home to feed them supper and put them to bed while father finishes his swim.  And they always swim in a steady, quiet, clean, and non-splashing manner.

Family Time



I was ready for a tranquil, late Sunday evening at the pool. I walked in to see pool noodles floating in the water next to discarded kick boards and over full swim diapers. It seemed family time had taken on a life of its own. One toddler teetered at the edge of the pool several times before anyone noticed that he had wandered away. Sisters tore at each other, one wishing to stay and one desperately wishing to leave. While they fought it out, their mother quietly slipped into the hot tub. There were two boy-man lifeguards at the desk doing homework and trying not to notice the shenanigans. I saw that 2 five-year-olds had climbed a step-stool and were gleefully pulling the chains to run both rinse-off showers at full force. I smiled and stepped into one, realizing too late that the water temperature was actually scalding. Both girls scampered along to play and left the water on.  I turned them both off and hurried to occupy the only swimming lane in the pool. I managed a distracted 45-minute swim. At one point, while I was doing laps, a very young swimmer made off with my personal kick-board.  I am sure she was attracted to the tie-dye pattern. I just-about managed to get her to trade for the dull blue one supplied by the pool company. The hot tub emptied enough to allow me a nice ending. When I stepped into the single bathroom to change, I had to stand on an upside down drain mat and the deep pattern pressed into the souls of my feet. This felt akin to standing full-force on a floor full of hard plastic Lego pieces. I tried to explain this to the boy-man lifeguard but he shrugged and hurried along to close up. I left all of that behind the glass door and the cool evening air was cleansing.