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Farm Life

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Month by Month


Everyone works with people. Happens every day. The old nose to the grindstone kind of thing. But for some reason, I think my situation is just a bit different. I work with three people for 8 to 10 weeks straight, give or take a couple days, in the months of June and July and that’s it.

We are the coaching staff of the Firestone Area Swim Team. Brought together by pure dumb luck, and cemented together by the love of competitive swimming.

I have to say, we have a blast.

But it is always very short-lived, and maybe that’s the secret. We know our time together is limited. We know we have a job to do under major crunch time – teaching 170-plus kids ages 4 to 18 how to not only swim fast, but have a great time doing so.

FAST coaches Erin, Ashley, Sue and Eric

We take our job very seriously, no doubt about it. But there has to be a bit of lunacy involved or we would lose our minds. Not a day goes by that the four of us do not enjoy a good old-fashioned, bent-over-at-the-waist belly laugh usually thanks to a passing comment by one of the swimmers, parents, lifeguards, or pool manager. We are easily entertained.

Then there is the fact Coach Erin sometimes has hearing issues. Who knows where she comes up with the comments she thought someone said. Won’t even bring up the jokes she tells.

Coach Eric is deadpan at its finest. You never know what response will result for asking the most mundane question. And the euphonium kicking set he devised? Pure genius.

Coach Ashley is this beautiful glamour girl who laughs easily but will make her lane repeat sets like a drill sergeant until it’s done right. That is if she is not ungracefully tripping over an imaginary object. Love my niece!

Me? Who knows how the others would tag me. The Mom of the group? The remover of any and all bugs – dead or alive – that have infiltrated the pool area? The one who can give, as it is called, “the look of death” resulting in immediate silence? I can’t imagine how I would be categorized, but I’m sure I would deserve it.

I have to say, though, through all the craziness, stress, joking, drama, hilarity, and calm, I can’t imagine spending my summers any other way. All of us know too much about each other’s quirks and qualities. We finish each other’s sentences and can convey a truckload of meaning by simply raising an eyebrow.

But isn’t that the point? Isn’t that what friendships are all about?

Thanks Erin, Eric and Ashley for making my summers sing.

Umm – yea, that’s Erin’s son, Liam in the corner of the picture. He turned 7 today. He keeps Erin on her toes. Can you tell?

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