Growing up, I didn’t have fancy toys or expensive things. To be honest, living with my mom and two older siblings, there were some lean times, but as a kid, I didn’t know the difference. I would play with whatever was around and used my imagination as much as I could.
We never had an excess, but never seemed to go without. But there was one thing that made me feel different than most of my friends, which was that my paternal grandparents had a swimming pool. As a child, there was nothing that beat being able to jump into the pool and splash around for hours.
My Grandma and Grandpa Dossi lived in Jamestown, which was about 25 minutes away from my mom’s house in Tuolumne, but only a short drive from my dad’s house in Sonora. So once the summer heat became an issue, an almost-daily trip to Grandma’s was on the itinerary.
The pool was about 25-feet long and was a perfect oval. As a youngster, I would make up games to play, and Grandma would sit outside and make sure that I didn’t drown. If I had $1 for each time I told her to watch my dive, I’d have enough money to build my own pool in my backyard.
As I got older and could drive myself, Grandma’s pool was not just a daytime destination. Grandma had poor hearing and once she took her hearing-aid out and went to bed, a bomb could have gone off in her living room and she wouldn’t have heard it. That meant that come the nighttime, my friends and I could go over, go for a swim under the stars and not have a care in the world.
So much time of my life was spent in Grandma’s pool (I say Grandma, because Grandpa died when I was 9) and it was a wonderful thing to have at my disposal. But when Grandma died in the fall of 2015, her house was eventually put on the market and sold. Knowing that someone else is living in her house and swimming in her pool truly makes me sad. I have a dream to one day buy that house and live the remainder of my days there.
With the house sold, I lost my swimming pool. That is, until I started dating the lovely Mrs. Dossi. When her family moved from Canada to Ripon, they purchased a house with, that’s right, a pool. Her parents now live out of the state, so for the majority of the summer, the pool goes unused.
My sister and my 5-year-old nephew, Max, are in town visiting my mother, and the lovely Mrs. Dossi and I thought it would be fun for Max to go swimming. So my sister, mother and Max, along with my wife and I, recently visited my in-laws’ pool and had a great time.
As I watched my young nephew play in the water, I was reminded of how much I loved swimming in Grandma’s pool. He splashed around, blew bubbles in the water and, even though he ended up shivering as the sun began to set, he didn’t want to get out. Auntie Tara and I played games with him and his constant laughter made my day.
I know he’s only 5, and he might not remember that trip to the pool, but I won’t soon forget it. There’s something magical about having fun in a pool, while being safe at the same time. I hope everyone has that one thing from their childhood that they can look back at and remember fondly all the joy that it brought.
For me, it’s Grandma’s pool.