Swimming Day...

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When you click on and play this video, think instead of miles of prairie, wetlands, green corn and beans, and acres yellow wheat being harvested by farmers as we drive miles without any interuptions at all.

I drove the kids 70 miles round trip to the Benson Public Swimming Pool. We were there when it opened and the last to leave. Infrastructure? let me tell you about infrastructure. This is a great small town pool- four different swimming areas, slides, wading areas, and full of kids. Staffed by teachers on summer break and high school kids. It's like a flashback to my own childhood in Dodge Center.

If we had stayed in St. Paul my kids would be going to the Jewish Community Center day camp and playing in one of these elaborate pools five days a week. But instead this day is the event of the summer- one whole day at the pool, complete with a trip to the DQ where Lake was so tired his head almost dropped into his twist cone.

Before we moved from the city to the farm I went to talk to my pediatrician and the director of the day care at the JCC and asked their opinions. Should I take my kids out of this "enriching" environment and move them to a farm? They both said that if they could take every kid out of daycare and put them on a farm with their parents- that's what they would do.

So instead of a daily dose of fancy pool (we do have a pool in the backyard) they get an occastional treat of big pool fun. That's probably ok in instilling a sense of savoring and appreciating the good things in life.

It is certainly true for me. I left there remembering that the world would be short one giant joy if we couldn't enjoy our fleeting summer on the high prairie with a day at the municiple pool.

12 Comments

Your kids will complain nevertheless, and ultimately do whatever they want. I always think of my friends who left the city in the 1970s to settle in coastal Mendocino, a center for back-to-the-landers, arts + crafts, and coastal environmentalism. Their kids grew up surfing, eating fresh, locally harvested seafood, and exploring the out-of-doors with their friends. They hated it -- no shopping malls, no cell phones, bad cable TV service, etc. When they became teenagers one ran away with her boyfriend to the suburbs of San Francisco, with its wall to wall spawl, and the other could not wait to leave, attending summer school each year so she could graduate early and go off to college back east "where she could meet people who did not grow up in the boonies", as she used to say.

As I started the song tears come to my eyes, what a cool mom! Miss you all so much. Love your little sister.

Dan,

Yikes! Very scary teenage scenarios. And yes... I'm sure kids will do whatever they want. Maybe even join one of the two Hutterite colonies in the county. Mike and I keep talking about building this farm for future generations. And actually today as I was pulling out taller-than-me weeds from the organic bean field I thought- they might just sell off this farm after all our hard work ;-)

I tell the kids I want a doctor, pastor, and engineer in the family- they can decide among themselves which will be which. The idea hasn't caught on with them yet.

I think of you Dan and your good local food and climate... Hope all is well in CA.

Thanks Kell!

kath - I swear one day I'll join you...i dream of living in the country, raising my kids without the sprawl...don't get me wrong, I like we have neighbors so close that our backyards are basically shared, and our kids play so well together - its nice. But one day...country living would be nice too.

Kathy and family, I would not trade my growing up days on the farm for anything. All my memories are so very precious! Our kids grew up just out of town by a lake, and had grandparents that lived in the country. With my farm girl background, I feel I passed on an appreciation of nature and God's good earth. What a blessing for all of us.....You have made the right decision with your move to the wide open spaces. Love to all of you, Bev

Kathy and family, I would not trade my growing up days on the farm for anything. All my memories are so very precious! Our kids grew up just out of town by a lake, and had grandparents that lived in the country. With my farm girl background, I feel I passed on an appreciation of nature and God's good earth. What a blessing for all of us.....You have made the right decision with your move to the wide open spaces. Love to all of you, Bev

This is beautiful. So glad I stumbled upon your page to read this.

Thank you.

How Fun! One of the favorite summer activities for grandparents and their grandchildren in our home is definitely water play - from puddle pools to sprinklers to heading for the public pools. Lots of fun and building loads of great memories as well. Very much enjoyed the video as well :)

Thank you for a great post

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on August 25, 2009 7:31 AM.

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