Saturday, June 25, 2005
Listen Up!
The #1 item on my garden wish list is an iPod. I think an iPod would make a great garden gadget. If I had an iPod, I'd listen audio books, professional lectures, archived NPR ...and music...all without having to fumble with CDs while wearing muddy gloves. (Hint, hint Randy: our wedding anniversary is only weeks away!)

While I remain iPod free, I spent time today paying attention to everyday sounds while I was working in the garden. Our house sits at the top of a small hill. At the bottom of the hill, there is a YMCA. During the winter, I can watch joggers circling around an inside track at the Y. This time of year, the YMCA buildings are pretty well obscured form view thanks to the trees that grow up the hillside. But there is a destinctive summer sound that eminates from the Y that I've grown to really enjoy while I'm working out in the yard.

It's the sound of the "free swim" that's held most every day during the summer.

While I'm puttering around the yard, I can hear kids splashing around. During the free swim times, there's a general pleasant racket in the air. There's the destinctive ka-SPLASH of the cannonball dive. Cries of "Marco" and the echoed "Pollo" float up to my plot. The squealing with delight, the playful shouting and caterwalling. Over the pool's innercom, I can hear the Voice of the lifeguard. I can never make out a word the lifeguard says. "Wa waaa, wa waaa, wa WAAAA." The sound is just like something from a Peanut's cartoon.

From time to time, swim meets are held at the pool. The races held during swim meets have a distinctly different sound from the "free swim" sessions. Some races really charge the fans up. Kids will scream themselves horse, yelling for their teammates to finish the race first. During swim meets, the Voice totally changes. Instead of soundling like a repremand, the Voice sounds professional and announcer-like. It's still indeciferable, but I seem to hear the Voice reading long lists of names. Who's up for the next race, who won the heat, the top three finishers from each school. Every now and then, I'll hear the occasional CRACK of the starter gun. More than once, the starter gun has scared me silly while I'm bent over some shrub.

On the hottest days, the sounds of kids having fun at a pool is surprisingly refreshing. Maybe it's the happy vibe of the noise. Or maybe it's the sound of splashing water. It's almost of good as actually being there myself, kicking back with a tall, cool drink poolside.

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