Spending time at a pool has always been an integral part of summer for my little family. My kids have participated in swim lessons every summer since they were born. From participating in the “mommy and me” lessons offered by a local YMCA, to group lessons at a nearby community pool, my two children have spent many of their summer days looking forward to a refreshing break from the Kansas heat by jumping into a pool.
Over the years my kids have become accustomed to the luxury of pool time to include a herd of kids lined up patiently waiting to jump off a diving board, summer jams blaring over loud speakers and a concession stand readily available to sell them a nice sugary treat. This year, however, has offered a new pool experience.
While my family has remained on the farm this summer, we have introduced the kids to the joys of our own “private” pool. Our pool is a bit smaller than the average community pool.
It doesn’t offer a diving board. There is no deep end to toss diving toys into. You definitely can’t practice handstands or dolphin kicks or even swim laps at our pool. A ladder is not available to climb out of it when the lifeguard blows the whistle for a break. In fact, our pool’s lifeguard lacks a whistle. The lifeguard tower isn’t as high as you would see at other pools, and our lifeguard’s seat lacks any flotation devices — but does offer two mesh drink holders.
While we still have many days of excellent pool time temperatures, when it is time to close the pool because of changing of seasons, we won’t have to winterize our pool. Instead, we’ll just need to move it to the other side of the fence so the cattle will have another place to drink.
Yes, we have introduced our kids to the stock tank pool this summer. And they are truly loving it!
Our pool is convenient and refreshing and has become a place for my family of four to enjoy summer mornings, afternoons and evenings taking a dip.
Our pool has allowed the kids to go for their “morning swims” before breakfast. In fact, many mornings while getting breakfast together, I watch my two race each other down the hill to see who can jump into the water first.
In the evenings, I’ll sit in my comfortable camp chair, put a drink in a cup holder, place my feet up on the edge of the pool and read the newspaper while simultaneously trying to avoid getting splashed by the young swimmers occupying the space.
While the space is best for two small children, there are even times you’ll see my husband or myself sitting in the pool helping the kids create a giant whirlpool. Even Rosie the farm dog has jumped in at times to demonstrate proper doggy paddle technique to her two small humans.
While our pool may lack crowds and chlorine, it has allowed us to continue to enjoy breaks from the heat and has given the kids something extra to look forward to — and will perhaps become another happy memory of what the summer of 2020 was like home on the farm.
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service. This week’s columnist is Kim Baldwin, McPherson County farmer and rancher. For more info, visit kfb.org.