“They are building a pool next door. Those people that just moved in. You know, down by the entrance to our driveway.” Gordy skipped into the house as excited as if the digging had begun in our yard. “A pool, practically in the front yard!”
My mother reacted instantly with a groan, “Why on earth would someone build a pool in the front yard? I can’t imagine anything tackier.”
Ethel shrugged after placing Gordy’s breakfast in front of him. “Sit down an’ eat ‘fore it gits cold.”
I answered my mother’s question, “because they don’t have a backyard,” only realizing after the words left my mouth that she wasn’t asking a question at all. She was making one of those I don’t approve remarks that sound so much like a question and tripped me up every single time.
She only glared at me, before saying, “hurry up and eat. You don’t want to be late for school. I’ll be in the car,” and she left the room.
Glad, not to have been reprimanded for once for answering what I really believed was a question, I made plans with Gordy to watch the pools contraction the minute we got home from school that afternoon, and every afternoon until the pool was finished. Careful to mind Ethel edict to stay out of our neighbors’ yard, we watched from the very edge of ours as the enormous digging machine carved a hole that took up half of the small yard. Mr. Winn, our new neighbor, also watched the construction, although not as often, nor as passionately as we did.
Over the course of the pool’s construction, Gordy and I got to be quite friendly with our new neighbor. Helen was no more interested in the pool than was our mother. Gordy told Mr. Winn, “I have two sisters besides Sallee, here.” When asked where the other two where Gordy said, “Stuart she’s the oldest, lives with my Dad. My parents are divorced and Helen the youngest. Doesn’t like swimming.”
“Well, you and Sallee can swim anytime you like when the pools finished. How about that?”
“Wow, Mr. Winn, that would be swell,” Gordy exclaimed.
As we leaped for the joy of having a pool practically of our own, we both remembered to, “Thanks,” before charging to the house, to relay our great new fortune.
Besides swimming lessons, going to the country club to swim was a very rare treat for us. It would have to be at least a thousand degrees before my mother would consent to take us. The summer Mr. Winn put in his pool, we went to the country club pool every day.