When our power was out for about 15 hours and as temperatures rose into triple digits, MamaGoof declared that it was time to flee. We gathered our most critical belongings and what food we could fit into coolers and like Steinbeck’s Okies fleeing the Dust Bowl we fled (if Okies had iPads and an air-conditioned mini-van.)
We headed to Baltimore, long a land of promise for those fleeing persecution and tragedy – and more importantly the home of BubbeGoof and PopGoof who have a condo with a pool where the power never goes out. Halfway to Baltimore we learned that their power was out!
Desperate for options I contacted a friend in Baltimore (who conveniently enough I had seen just the week before) and asked if he had power.
“Sure,” he texted, “What’s up?”
Port in the Storm
A greathearted man, he opened his home as a refugee center to us and to all. Moreover, he has a pool. We opened our coolers full of food and a great feast was had by all. My primary contribution is pool duty. I am absolutely useless in the kitchen for any serious cooking. I have a couple of go-to’s for my regular dinner/lunch duties with the little Goofs but if you actually want a feast – get me out of the kitchen. I am human cholesterol, blocking useful activity along the major arteries of productivity.
So when in doubt, I offer to sit by the pool and watch the children. The downside is that this involves regulating the rather tedious disputes of children (although I have some useful techniques to manage this) and worse, playing with them: judging swimming races, refereeing water fights, and bounding into the water doing enormous cannonballs for their amusement. Also, I have to make sure they don’t drown.
On the other hand, I get to be in the water. I really like being in the water, just about more then anything else. At a pool/birthday party (where I was fulfilling my pool duty role) there was an incident when the kids were told to get out, but I wouldn’t. Ultimately, I was given a timeout for poor listening and as an example to the children.
We slept over and the next day I went for a run in the high heat through my friends lovely neighborhood of grand – but surprisingly affordable – homes (oh Baltimore, you beckon like a Siren…)
Then I, stripped to my running shorts and dove into the pool.
My good friend, who assures me that having a pool at the house is an expensive time-consuming hassle that is not worth the effort said the grin on my face when I emerged made all of those hassles almost worth it.
Meanwhile, GoofGirl and one of my friend’s daughters are almost the exact same age (born one day part) and they played happily in the pool. GoofGirl was telling her new friend complicated stories (based on stories I told her) about Off-Track Betting Centers (I’ll explain all of this in another post…) Naturally, this little girl was unfamiliar with every aspect of this concept – starting with betting. I told the host that this reflects very well on his parenting skills, and perhaps not as well on mine.
All was well, we had smores and there was berry gathering. But other families needed help as well, another arrived that afternoon and we decided to give them some space. We, on the other hand, had options and moved on...