Silent Pool Drama

Last year, we had an issue with the gate at one of our pools not closing properly.  I reported the issue to our HOA, and it was never fixed.   It’s gotten worse, as things tend to do, and it got to the point that in order for the gate to close, it had to be manually pulled shut.  No one does that except for the most conscientious of people, and let’s face it, that is NOT the majority of the population.

So, last month, my mom went up there to swim some laps.  When she got there, she intended to go in the women’s bathroom and change, except she heard voices in there.  One of which was manly.  After a bit, the door opened, a man came out and then a woman.  She asked him if there was something wrong with the men’s bathroom and he said the light didn’t work.  LOL  Rrright.  She said they were quite cozy with each other over at the spa, but she just tried to ignore them.  She noted as they left that the woman made mention of the gate being latched, because my mom had latched it when she came into the pool area.  The next day when I went up there to swim, in the women’s restroom, there was an empty condom wrapper on the ground and a used condom in the open feminine hygiene disposal container.  I reported all this to the HOA.

A couple weeks ago, the HOA finally fixed the gate and it latches with great authority now with no effort at all.  A few times I’ve driven by and seen people sitting on the step outside waiting for someone to let them in.

Then last night, as a Valentine’s day gift to me, Tony told me to go on, go lap swimming.  So, I hied myself up there, and I’m swimming laps and it’s a beautiful night under the stars.  Venus is making quite a statement with her bold, bright self being visible.  Orion is straight ahead of me.  Many of the stars are visible and it’s just a glorious night.  As I search for the north star overhead, I see a downward movement in the corner by the pool maintenance room and a man comes walking past with confidence and purpose like he’d been there all along, except I know for a fact that he hadn’t been.  I check restrooms and corners before I swim as a safety precaution; I don’t like surprises.  So this man, he walks over and unlocks the gate and lets his girlfriend in.  She’s carrying a bedroll and a pillow and I think that maybe she’s homeless?  She kind of looks homeless, with her wild, curly, unkempt hair and baggy sweats, and carrying that bedroll and pillow.  Odd.

They go over to the spa and set up their “camp” and I’m keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t touch my stuff, and they don’t breach my “bubble” of safety space.  He marches over to the men’s restroom, goes inside.  He comes out dressed in swim trunks.  She then goes into the women’s bathroom, goes inside, comes out in a one piece swimsuit, but then as she walks past I realize that 3/4 of her butt cheeks are hanging out.  I mentally raise my eyebrows at this, this is a community swimming pool after all and that is definitely not a swimsuit I would wear around other people, but maybe I’m a prude after all?

So, they’re over there in the spa now.  Pretty soon I see her sitting on his lap, but as best I can tell, they are just sitting.  Kissing deeply, but just sitting.  Then pretty soon they move over to the steps, and she’s sitting on the steps and I see the back of her head and he’s standing in front of her… and then they switch places, so he’s standing up in front of the steps and I see his back, and she’s “sitting” (kneeling??) in front of him… there’s movement now, and I’m pretty sure there was inappropriate public behavior going on for a couple of minutes.

After a few minutes, they separated and sat all cozy next to each other.  Then they leisurely got out of the spa and, I was kick boarding at that point, so I had my ear plugs out of my ears, and I heard him asking her if they wanted to go somewhere else.  I didn’t hear her answer, but she went into the women’s bathroom and he followed her, got within 2 steps of the women’s bathroom door, looked over his shoulder at me, and turned and went into the men’s bathroom.  And I was left with the distinct impression that he was used to being in there with her.

Overall, they were there for 25 minutes or so, and I was left with the feeling that I interrupted their “star gazing” plans for the night and that they frequently do “star gazing” there and that I was “trespassing” on “their” place. (Yes, I know I’m overusing my quotes, I know.)  She left with her pillow and bedroll under her arm, he followed her to her car and, after a bit, she drove off and he walked back down the street.  After I was done swimming, I went out and looked around the outside of the pool maintenance room and the fence on that side, and I have no clue how he managed to get over it, but then I’m not a randy billy goat, either.

The whole thing kind of makes me wonder what their story is … I mean, why do this at a public community pool or in a community bathroom?  Surely there are other places they could go and be together?  Do they have a fetish for doing this stuff in public, in front of people or something?  Does he live in the community?  I don’t think she does, given where they went afterwards.  Why doesn’t he have a pool gate key?  So many questions and I still don’t know how I should have handled this awkward situation… and I feel resentful that I *have* to ponder these things.  I mean, I was already there and they chose to enter illegally over the fence and be intimate publicly.  Just so awkward.

So, what’s the solution to this?  I debated hopping out of the pool and going all perky-like up to them and start talking about the amazing visibility of Orion’s belt and Venus, but I really didn’t want to see this guy’s junk being all out there.  I also thought about getting out and calling our security company or the sheriff, but I know that by the time they got there, these people would likely be done and gone.  And if they did show up while they were there, these people would know it was me who called them and … well, they wouldn’t be arrested, they know that I swim there, what if they come back the next night or next week and retaliate against me?  Obviously the fencing around the pool is a non-issue to them and is no protection.

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Talent Show.

Last night at Awana Club they had a talent show.  Last year, the Cubbies (William’s group) did not participate beyond watching from the audience. This year, they let them sing as a group.  William told me early on that he wanted to sing a song all by himself.  I told him that was called a solo.  Yes, he said, that’s what he wanted to do. This was about 2 months ago.

The teachers have been getting them to practice at every meeting, and at every meeting William proclaims practice to be boring.  If it’s insisted that he practice, he makes a big show of it and sings faster and louder than the other kids.  Except… a couple weeks ago there was some sort of turning point for him and he started accepting that practice is necessary.

Last night was the big night and he was, literally, beside himself with excitement. The practice time was perfect… I wish I had recorded that.  Alas, I did not.  But the actual performance ended up being pretty hilarious and cute.  He did great!  But it looked more like William and the Cubbettes as backup dancers.  But who cares?  Everyone was happy.  Oh, and you get to see a cameo of my backside… I’m the one in a blue shirt. ha

Click to watch

(Video credit goes to Tony)

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Sky Friends.

Earlier this evening, as I stood facing the pool, on my right there was a sunset visible between the branches of a tree laden with so many white blossoms that it looked like a popcorn tree.

On the other side of the pool, the moon was already in the sky behind a veil of fog. Sky friends that bring light and get glimpses of each other sometimes. I wonder if they’ll see each other again in the morning? 🙂

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Morning Goodbyes are Hard.

Leaving for work this morning, William clings to my hand and says, “I’m never letting you go, mommy.  You’re my mommy forever!”

I stroke his arm that is attached to the hand that is holding me.  In response he says, “If you leave, I will cry!”

I see the sadness in his eyes and so I stroke his forehead and say, “Why don’t you come out to the garage and hug me goodbye after I get in my car?”

He tentatively smiles and says, “OK!”  So we hold hands and head into the garage.  He stands on the step and waits for me to get in my car, buckle my seatbelt, open the garage, start up my car and pull it partially out of the garage.  Then I open my door and he runs to me, crawls in my lap and holds on tight to my neck.  He kisses me on my cheeks and my chin.  I feel his hands tangle gently into my hair.

I remind him, “I’ve got to get on the road now.”

He looks sad for a second and then says, “Can you call me on your phone?  When you close the garage door, can you call me on your phone?”

“Yes, I sure can!  What a great idea!”

He gives me one last kiss, hops out of the car and runs back inside to wait for my call.

I love how his brain works.

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Filed under Our Kid is Cute, Tidbits

Never Alone.

Yesterday I had a “William Day.”  He had a field trip with his preschool, a morning thing, and after it was done, we headed over to our little local zoo.  He was off in the playground and I was observing him play while eating my lunch.  The weather was chilly, and there weren’t that many people about.  And then I heard a noise behind me, but I hadn’t sensed a presence.  At least of the human persuasion.  I turned to see what it was and … I guess this little fellow wanted to share in my lunch.

Apparently, I’m not allowed to be without a critter nearby anywhere?

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Stopping Earth’s Orbit

My uncle passed away in the wee hours of the morning Saturday morning, the 14th.  My aunt is a retired nurse, so she knew there was no hope.  I treasure her practical no-nonsense ways.  But the thing is, I still can’t wrap my mind around this whole crazy thing.  The fluke event, the domino effect, how one thing led to another that normally wouldn’t have happened, but it did that day.  How an ordinary orbit around the sun started so ordinarily, and an ordinary decision to follow his ordinary routine in his ordinary day ended his life.  How he did nothing wrong, but everything somehow went wrong.

I’ve looked through all the pictures that I’ve taken when we’ve visited each other and it is just so surreal to me that the images and voices that I captured of us all together, of William singing him happy birthday in 2015, the park bench he sat on at a park in 2016, the tree he sat under for shade after our walk over the Bob Kerrey bridge, of him laughing at William’s energy running across a giant field, of him grumbling to camouflage his secret joy that he would have to “sacrifice” his diet and help Tony eat that big bag of popcorn he just bought while they watched TV together in the downstairs family room, of his antics when he was frustrated with his beloved Huskers football team and his passionate joy when they were doing well, how reliable he was to take his great-grandson to school every Tuesday and Thursday, or when his great-grandson steals his seat (his La-Z-Boy, no less) in the family room and he would let him, how he would save me a cup of coffee out of their giant carafe in the mornings when I was visiting, how he would make a giant pot of beef stew for the first night’s dinner when we arrived after our day of traveling because he knew it was my favorite, and all the numerous other facets of his very normal life… all those memories, those are the only ones we’ll ever have with him, and no new ones are to be made.  At least not here on earth.

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I know that the end of life for each person is death, with no exceptions.  It’s no surprise.  I’ve read Ecclesiastes.  I also know I’m at this strange age in my life when death starts taking the lives of those I know and love, and that it will continue that way.  But sudden death is always such a strange thing to process.  I’m not sure I can get used to this being my new norm.

My uncle’s funeral is this week, on Thursday, but rather than go back for it, I booked tickets to fly us back to see my aunt early February instead.  My heart is telling me that I need to see her, that perhaps she’ll need to see me, too.  And I know she takes joy in William, so going in February will allow me to bring William and Tony, too, instead of just me because of airfare costs.

I’m praying for my aunt and their son, and the rest of the “surviving” family members and friends, as we all find our new “normal” while missing him.  If you have prayers or thoughts to offer, they would be appreciated.

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Filed under Best Husband, I have Family, Life Encompasses Me, Our Kid is Cute

Celestial City.

I have been reading Little Pilgrim’s Progress to William.  We received the book last Friday night and within two days, we were 65 pages into it.  Now we are well past that.  I don’t even know what page, but I think we finished chapter 30 last night.  We read, last night, the chapter where Faithful is escorted from the town of Vanity Fair into the Celestial City by angels.

I reached out to my aunt today during my lunch break, I don’t know why I was so timid to reach out to her.  Fear of bothering her, fear of her being busy, fear that she wouldn’t want to repeat the story to yet another person, fear that she wouldn’t want to cry more  — or knowing that she is much more of an in-person type of person vs. a phone person.  Probably mostly the latter,  now that I think about it.  I get that, I’m that way, too.  But, when I was looking at pictures from our trip of October 2016, there is one of her and me, and the look on her face and the positioning of her hands on me, I see in that picture that I am the daughter she never had.  Seeing that, I felt compelled to overcome my fear.

Talking to her cleared up so many questions… the incident didn’t happen early morning, like my dad’s cousin had told me, but rather mid-morning.  He had gone out to get the mail, not the newspaper.  The period of time between him taking his great grandson to school and the time of the incident was enough time for the roads to ice up, which is why the emergency vehicle was unable to get up the hill to their house, and then when it went the other way, it got stuck in the ice, so the city had to come out and treat the roads.  It took 45 precious possible life-saving minutes … they talk about the “golden hour” of brain injuries, and my uncle’s golden hour was spent on the grass of his front lawn in freezing temperatures waiting for emergency personnel to help him due to bad street conditions, and then being transferred from the hospital he was initially taken, to a hospital that might be better equipped to help him due to the severity of his injury.

I told my aunt that I was concerned about her.  That I wanted to come and see her.  That I love both of them, but I wanted to be there for her in whatever capacity I could be.  I asked if I could fly to see her, to hold her hand, to just hold her.  We both started crying.  She declined, because her home will be full of his relatives in a short time and she feels that she has emotional support from her son and her niece (her husband’s brother’s daughter).  I told her that if she just needed a friend by phone, to please, please, please reach out to me in whatever capacity she is comfortable with.  I want to be there for her.

My uncle was taken off of life support at 11 AM (CST) today.  It is now just a matter of time before he is taken by angels to the Celestial City.

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Filed under I feel Sad, I have Family, Who I am