After graduating college, I took off to the wilds of Canada. Much to my mother's dismay, I started farming. By 1980 our cattle herd numbered over 200 animals.
In addition to raising cattle, I was selling Vermeer Balers. The balers would get shipped to Maine, and I would drive down and haul them back with my pickup truck.
Farming is not the kind of life which comes with a lot of vacations. In fact we went so long without a vacation that we pretty well forgot how to have one. However, sometime around 1980, we decided to combine a trip to pick up a baler with a quick family visit to Bangor, Maine.
Only our two oldest children were around then, so we packed everyone up in our Ford F250 crew cab truck and headed off. We decided to spend the night in a Howard Johnson's Motel. The main reason was that they had a swimming pool. It was an outside swimming pool, but we didn't consider that a problem since it was July. Perhaps we had been on the farm a little too long.
Sometime during our stay we decided to go for a swim. I love swimming, and I suspect that the years on the farm had made me a little desperate for some time in the water.
As our children we getting into the shallow end of the pool, I decided to dive into the deep end of the pool. I didn't bother to check the water. Hitting the water was like nothing I have ever experienced. I don't think my body has ever endured a temperature shock as great as I got that day in July when I dived into that unheated swimming pool in Bangor.
As soon as I could turn myself upward I clawed my way up through the nearly frozen water until I hit the air while still swimming. Needless to say this as been a source of great amusement to our family for over thirty years. I didn't get back in the water that day. On our next trip I found us an indoor heated pool. I have probably never jumped into the water again without checking the water temperature.
So today, March 26, 2012, after I came back home from the Bluewater Cove swimming pool, my wife, Glenda, asked me how was my swim. I responded, "Warmer than Bangor in July." Glenda was kind enough not to break out in laughter, but I certainly didn't have to explain the reference.
This is the earliest that I have ever jumped in an unheated outdoor swimming pool. I did check the water before I got into it. While it was a little cool for floating around, it certainly wasn't too cold for swimming. With the water over at the beach being warm enough for wading and our neighborhood pool nice enough for a cooling dip, I would say we are ready for visitors here on the Crystal Coast.