Tuesday, June 26, 2012


My daddy taught me how to swim, and I've had a swimming pool in my backyard for 36 years of my life. When we moved from Glendale to Phoenix, we decided against a pool because the desert dust storms were always turning it to mud and husband was tired of trying to keep it from turning green.

When I was growing up, my mother always made me wear a cap - a white rubbery number with a bumpy woven texture and a little chin strap. Not a very flattering accessory - especially when the boyfriend came over.

Now that I'm older and cellulite has turned the thighs to cottage cheese, I've had a phobia about appearing in public in a swim suit. I like dimples, but not when they form a landscape of hills and valleys starting at the second fold of my knee. I took a chance, however, and joined a water aerobics class along with the other white-haired ladies. After viewing the assortment of body types that padded single file down the kiddie's shallow end into the water, my fear of revealing my thunder thighs has somewhat diminished. As we were "jogging" and "jumping jacks" and "cross-country skiing" to the oldies, I observed a woman swimming laps at the other end of the pool. She swam back and forth for about 45 minutes. She had a long, slender body.

I want a long, slender body.

In my new quest of body-image improvement, I have taken up the sport of swimming again. I bought a new racer-back swim suit, goggles, and swim cap - not white, but black with a green dolphin. I can't go wrong with a dolphin on my cap. Off I go on my laps, swimming in my best free style. After the second lap, I found myself gasping for air, and the life guard started walking my way. Guess I'm a little out of shape. Forty-five minutes turned out to be a really long time. In just a few days, however, I increased to 14 laps using a variety of my best strokes.

There are pluses and minuses to swimming at the community center.


1. It is extremely difficult to pull down a wet swim suit, go to the bathroom, and try to tug it back up.  It's kind of like a rhinoceros shedding the skin of a lizard.

2. Water likes to flow into my ears. I have to stand on my head to feel it slosh around the ear canal and try to persuade it to trickle back out where it belongs.

3. Getting dressed in the locker room with 70 year-old women was a rude awakening. I guess years of having babies and surgeries has diminished their modesty. And all the cartoons depicting sagging boobs and body fat are true after all.

4. My hair looks like crap every day.


1. Swimming is an excellent cardio workout.

2. Swimming is low impact on my arthritic knees.

3. I don't rub a blister.

4. I feel 20 pounds lighter in the water.

5. My inner dolphin and I are one.

6. I'm on my way to a long, slender body.

My daddy would be proud.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


 As a baby, Jackie was resolute to getting her way – persistent in taking control.  The word tenacious comes to mind.  Of course, she was the first-born, so we showered her with attention, and she loved it.


Jackie loved to have friends over to play– anybody – everybody - everyone in her class - the whole neighborhood.  We planned her birthday parties for months – I’m sure she would have invited the whole school if possible.  Daddy cooked hamburgers all afternoon, the kids bumped into each other playing Marco Polo in the pool, and the dog scored by feasting on the cake frosting that dropped on the patio.  It’s a good thing her little brother came along so she could have a built-in playmate – and someone she could dress up like a girl.  Then there was school time – Jackie made all her friends and her brother’s friends sit in a line so she could be the schoolteacher and write on her chalkboard.  At the babysitters, she organized one-act plays, assigning parts to all the kids in the house. 


Jackie loved her toys – and no wimpy toys like dolls or tea sets, either.  She liked the big stuff – Matchbox cars & trucks and tracks & tunnels.  Tracks for the car sets were assembled in the family room with ramps, jumps, and tunnels.  White tubes that were fastened together ran around the living room and could be used as forts, secret hiding places, and playhouses.  Pooh Bear was always clutched in one hand and a truck in the other whenever we went on errands.  Imagination was used a lot back then – no video games or Angry Birds to occupy her time.  Jackie danced to music, set her stuffed animals in chairs for lessons, and hung blankets and sheets over furniture to play house.  Did she share her toys?  Sometimes.  But not with her Daddy and Richard when they started playing with her new birthday cars which involved a race track, balloons, and toothpicks.


Jackie’s sport was soccer.  She played the game for 12 years, starting with the Lady Bugs at age 6 and eventually driving to practice herself as a senior.  I wouldn’t say Jackie was a tomboy, but she sure wouldn’t let the guys get the best of her.  If the boys could be pulled behind a boat on the Sea Biscuit, a huge inner tube, then Jackie showed them up by standing on it and riding it like a wakeboard.  She was bummed when she didn’t make the basketball team in high school, but that didn’t stop her – she was in track instead.  Good choice, because she sure could outrun her dad on the beach at Lake Powell.  The tame sports like snow boarding and wakeboarding turned into extreme sports such as jumping off cliffs into the lake, sky diving indoors, and Warrior Dashes. 

Jackie still is very tenacious, especially when it comes to…

MY FRIENDS still includes her best friends from her childhood years and a lovely goddaughter, the sweet little girl of good friends from ASU.

MY TOYS still involves her creativity, but now includes a Nikon camera, a MacBook, and the fashion sense of an Elle model.

MY SPORTS now includes anything to do with Lake Powell, hiking the Grand Canyon, Mud Runs, golf, yoga, weight lifting, softball, kick ball, etc, etc., - which continues to keep her sexy figure in shape.