Have you ever run across an old photo that made you realize, "Wow, my family was really weird."
The photo above illustrates that sort of thing nicely. It's our "swimming pool" from about 1979. Let me explain what's happening here. We had a large, round, rock-rimmed flower bed off to one side of our front yard. It was always terraced downward toward the middle. I remember my mother trying to grow strawberries in it, but the turtles would always get in and eat them all.
One year, my dad decided to dig it out still further. He draped an enormous, pink tarp over the whole thing, filled it with water and made it into a pool. It was probably two-and-a-half feet deep in the middle - perhaps a little deeper. My folks would fill it with the garden hose (visible in the lower right, you'll notice) and splash some Clorox into it to discourage algae growth. When it got slimy and horrible anyway, my dad would scrub it out with a long-handled scrub brush and then refill it.
I think the slide is my favorite part of this picture. It was just an old playground slide, perched precariously on the edge of the "pool." These days, I don't think any parent in the world would allow his or her child to play on such a thing.
Naturally, we loved our pool and spent hours "swimming" in it during the summer.
When I was growing up, my dad always used to say, "When we get rich, we'll get a swimming pool."
It took years and years for me to realize that the "when" in that equation wasn't a certainty. For the longest time, I figured we were just biding our time until we got rich and the swimming pool crew came out to start digging.