The evangelical branch of the family will have been startled to see the title of this post. They are alert to anything that feels like a move towards Rome, following yesterday’s appearance at Duke University Chapel (Very high church. Lots of thumb action at the mention of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, and plenty of parading up and down).
They need not be concerned for my interests are more water-logged than worshipful. The beads I am counting can be bought in a florist’s or craft shop and are more like skimming stones than talismen for telling. These beads take all the tedious mental effort out of counting laps or lengths. I get a jar with 38 or so, and take one out of the jar everytime I swim both up and down the pool. The flat stones form a pleasing pile by the poolside and the hand in the jar action is cheeringly reminiscent of fishing for a brandy ball or humbug at your granny’s. These stones are beautiful shades of aquamarine which is soothing for the spirits and I will admit to liking it when other pool-users stop to marvel at the growing magnitude of my marble mountain. Counting lengths and laps becomes irritating after a while and I think the boredom has sometimes forced me out of the water. Using the beads allows me to daydream mindlessly while conducting my stately breast stroke up and down the pool, head held high above the spray.
The pool at Duke Diet and Fitness Center is filled with salt water and the roof and side doors of the building can be opened up so we swim in the sunshine, while birds sing above. Occasional leaves flutter into the water. It is easy to spend 3 hours a day there.
The life guard is a young man with a fondness for old country and western songs. Now that I am freed of the need to count, I amuse myself by creating foodie versions of each title. Today we had “Put Your Sweet Lips A Little Closer to the Cone”, “I have your Pilchard, She’s got Tofu” and ” Hello Low-Fat Roux, Goodbye Tart” to say nothing of the “Strawberry done Stawberry wrong song” and “Don’t It Make My Favorite Stew”, that well known hit from Rita Coolwhip. 😉