Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tough Skin

Growing up, most of my Memorial Day weekends were spent at my Grandpa’s cabin. Once the calendar turned to May, I would start counting down the days before we would get to head up to the lake. It signaled the start of summer and all things I truly loved: skiing, tubing, bonfires, late night game playing, fishing with Dad, adventures on the water. I know I was quite the challenge to my Mom as my excitement was not easily contained…I literally bounced off the walls. The funny thing about being a kid is that weather just seemed never to affect the senses. Memorial Day in northern Wisconsin doesn’t exactly guarantee warm weather and never brings even semi-tolerable water temps but try telling that to a water loving nine year old. 50 degree water temperature on a cloudy 50 degree – Perfect Swim Day.

I would always challenge my sisters to the ‘let’s try and swim everyday no matter what the temperature is’ challenge. I remember my Uncle Chris watching us get ready to go out for a swim then looking out the window at the drizzling rain and then back to the below 50degree temperature reading. I think he somehow convinced himself that the water must really be warm because there is absolutely no way we could happily swim without shivers. So, he threw on his swim trunks and headed out the door with us. For cold days, the best way to throw your practically naked body into the water was off the rope swing. There was just no turning back once you left the platform. We all made it in and within about 5 minutes, my uncle had turned blue and was shaking. I remember giggling saying isn’t this so much fun. Ah, to be a kid again. Now, I won’t even touch the water with a full wetsuit on a 70 degree day. I’ll stay dry thank you very much but there are days when I wish I could still have that tough kid skin.