Slim Randles is here as today’s Wednesday’s Guest with a touching essay about summer and love and how it can last a long, long time.
Bert and Maizie were down at the swimming hole on Lewis Creek the other day. Saturday it was. The sun was bright hot and these two lovers had found a nice patch of shade near the tire swing tree where they could sip iced tea and watch the youngsters.
The little kids were in the shallow wading area, some in underwear, some in none-derwear, and all of them squealing and splashing. The kids who had turned 13 or 14, however, waited their turns at the tire swing. One by one they swung out, flashing in the sun, arching and stretching and knifing into the water. The boys wanted to be seen and impress the girls, and the girls … well, same thing.
It is coming a time of muscles for the guys and curves for the girls, and fun watching for those who aren’t that curvy or muscular any more. Like Bert and Maizie. Maizie looked over at her husband of 40-some years and smiled.
“I can remember,” she whispered.
“There was a time,” he smiled and nodded back at her.
And when he looked at her, he didn’t see the settled body that plumped there after all the children and grandchildren. He saw the girl, Maizie, who almost took flight and jackknifed into the deep part of the pool, and he could remember her coming up to the surface and shaking the water out of her long hair and smiling with the simple joy of being there and being alive.
And when Maizie looked at her husband, she wasn’t seeing the puddling of his body and the gray hair and the wrinkles. She saw the dark hair and the flashing eyes, and the muscles that carried him out into space and took him straight down into a cannonball that got even the old folks wet.
And she reached over and took his hand and he gave it a squeeze. There has always been a lot of love at the old swimming hole.
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Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” that is featured in 380 newspapers across the country. He is also the author of a number of books including Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by LPD Press. If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It features some of the best of the columns he has shared with us here.