Edith, and Lola in the Pool
Prior photo, Edith the Life Guard, was replaced for this one.
You can see tomatoes and kale growing behind Edith.
EDITH, MY LIFE GUARD
- Joy Krauthammer ©
I had not thought of "life guard", the profession, in terms of much else besides the paid person high on their viewing stand at the pool or beach, but in writing these two words, I think of how Edith, my 88 year old mentor, must think of herself as my 'life guard'. Edith is a welcome shamash / protector of body and soul. She is a blesSing to me, and a "joy in the morning".
Here is a photo I shot yesterday of Edith as she perches high above me in the deep end (that is where the shade is) as I swim early mornings in her pool since a week ago. Do you see the sun glistening in her wavy white hair? (The photo would have been easier and smarter I realize if I had shot it from the shallow end. Balancing and protecting my non-water proof camera in deep end was not easy.)
Although slightly warmer than the cool morning air, the water is not warm after sitting 12 hours overnight, although San Fernando Valley days are 100*, maybe higher. I had waited eight months to get back into Edith's pool, since I stopped swimming at the end of the High Holidays, the end of September. The water must have been much less than 70* at that time. Polar bears would have shivered, but I love so much to swim, that I was not ready to give it up, and imagined I was an ice cube. Edith was shocked that I kept entering the unheated pool. Even Lola, her trusty big black labrador shivered from the pool water. Yes, we share the waters, though my hair is not floating all over the water and forming hair balls that go into the filter, I am sure. I also don't bark loudly trying to play ball with Edith, waking the neighbors early in the morning. I don't repeatedly drop slimy sloppy green tennis balls in Edith's lap as does Lola. (See the apron.) Lola is probably more loyal but only because she is a dog. And I heard her snore, and whine. Edith does not get those traits from me although I may kvetch / compain at times, and even yelp as I enter the freezing water at end of season.
Remaining to swim too late after season, I also didn't want to give up noshing in Edith's garden. Each morning Edith allowed me to pick some little cherry tomatoes or big tomatoes from her garden. I would bring them home and wrap sweet basil leaves (from Trader Joes and my kitchen sink pot) into the red moist flesh of the large home-grown real tasting tomatoes. Sometimes they get over cooked in our heat. Yesterday with the first tiny specimens of the season, I wrapped a small basil leaf around each finger nail-sized cherry tomato which Edith had generously shared with me. Once plucked easily, they fit in the palm of my hand, single layer. Driving, I carried them home in the cheap thin plastic elasticized shower cap that I now wear in Edith's pool (I look stunning). Since I was at a Maryland hotel for a simcha last month, I kept the hotel throw-away cap for this occasion. I think it protects my hair from chlorine. Last summer season with my hair longer then, I put it up in a ponytail and kept my hair out of the water. I had also bought fancier, thicker, colorful caps at 99 cents store. Hmm, where are they?
I'm not even late yet but I guess Edith thinks she is also my alarm clock shamash since she just called to make sure I am coming over. She takes seriously her life guard job and gets paid in love from me. The call interrupted my train of writing, so I guess I'll go now and prepare myself to swim. I better also shut off the sprinklers because I am watering my property's big slope on this hill, and also my giant fig tree filled with ripening figs, but that's another story. There are already lots of pictures and stories about Edith, and also my figs, on my sixty different web sites.
Edith and I were also together 12 hours ago, because I brought over a delicious salmon dinner to share. We sat outside and ate in Edith's garden with the hummingbirds and butterflies flitting about. Lola slept nearby. Edith listens to and hears my life stories, some outrageous, and I can tell she must believe she is now my 'life guard'. True, Edith, I would never have allowed my daughter to do what I did growing up, but then it was the 'sixties'. Today my great life adventure is to go to your pool and swim with 'joy in the morning.'
Bye for now.
To read more about Edith, my dear friend and life guard:
I shot photos of the tall palm trees reflecting in the pool, and also baby tomatoes, and I include them in collage in "Swim Time".
with a link included to You Tube about Edith's persimmons.