But this year we have a red, white and blue campaign sign right out in the yard where God and everyone can see it. As the pundits are fond of saying, this is indeed an unusual election cycle.
I don't have my mind made up on all the issues and fewer of the candidates, but on this issue I am confident of my vote.
We moved to a small town with an outdoor pool when the princesses were middle and highschool age and the Goob was three. It is good to live in a small town, but it is not easy to move into one. The small town we had moved from did not have a pool. The princesses learned to swim at pools in neighboring towns. The Goob learned to swim at the pool in town.
The pool in town was where we spent summer afternoons. It was where we met other kids and other mothers. It was where we cooled off on hot days. Some days we packed a lunch and stayed after swimming lessons. Other days we went later and had supper at the pool. Some late afternoons and early evenings we had the pool almost to ourselves. The pool was one place our whole family could enjoy and a place to enjoy each other. The pool was a place to picnic and swim on the 4th of July. Where the STP had as good a chance as anyone's dad of winning the cannonball contest. The pool was a place the youth group could rent for an evening swim. A place to host a party.
The pool was where the Goob learned things besides how to backstroke. He learned to take turns. He learned that somethings are for adults only, and that 'adult swim' was a good time to visit the concession stand. He learned to love Nerd ropes. He learned to listen to authorities and follow the rules. He learned that passing the 'deep end test' was a rite of passage that was a cause for celebration and a reason for ice cream. He learned to be an encourager with the confidence to help his friend overcome his fear of going off the diving board.
When we moved to Dodge City, they only had an indoor pool. The Goob was a lifeguard there until it was closed. He was responsible for the safety of children learning to swim, children dropped off by their parents for the afternoon, and middle aged women doing aqua-zumba. He learned CPR and what to do if someone went into labor at the pool. (By contrast, the oldest princess, who did not have a pool in her town when she was growing up, worked a summer job at the convenience store selling cigarettes and lottery tickets to people buying gasoline and renting questionable movies.)
The pool has been closed and gone for several years. When the best grandkids in the world visited Dodge City, we went to the neighboring town to swim.