Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pump House Swimming Pool

Just outside the back door of my grandparents' farmhouse sat the pump house. It was painted white-quite small with  two windows and surrounded by flowers. There was a cement floor and the pump. That's all. Its purpose was to shelter the pump that provided a water source for the barn. In the sweltering heat of summer it also provided us the best-the coldest-the most refreshing water I've ever tasted-and it wasn't even packaged in a plastic bottle. All you had to do was grab hold of the handle and start pumping. Within seconds water would flow into whatever was catching it-little hands-buckets-cups-ladles. On some of those summer days we let the water flow all over the cement floor and then we'd splash around in our bare feet. It was our swimming pool even though all we'd do was slam our feet or put our heads under the water spout which took our breath away it was so very cold. It also provided a great place to hide when playing hide 'n seek. No one would ever think to look there!
To get the water to the barn there was a pipe leading from the pump house-over the flat rock-through the field-behind our chicken coop clubhouse-to the barn. It didn't take much to stir our imaginations. That pipe became part of circus acts or provided us some good old fun-like seeing how far we could move along-holding on-dangling-moving our hands a little at a time. We'd eventually drop in exhaustion or let loose and fall into the tall grass. I don't remember any of us getting too far along on that pipe. It was cold and wet with moisture.
The pipe leading to the barn is gone now. So is the barn and pump house. Driving by I see the pump-sitting outside-unsheltered. It doesn't look the same to me. It seems so much smaller than it was when I was little and splashing about on the cement floor inside the pump house. That's what happens. When you're a kid, backyards-rooms-everything seems bigger. But then, big is not always best-they say!


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