Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
Going to a private pool was a special treat and we were more than happy to use up the food minimum requirement by charging meals at the grill. He would always chuckle when he got the monthly statement – he marveled at the itemized listing of Coke after Coke and bag after bag of Doritos.
After they got older and I could just drop them off for the afternoon, he always said the food costs were still cheaper than childcare costs. I’m not sure if that was true?
Sara remembers those olden days when she would spread out her beach towel on the grassy hill and watch after Evan. She also remembers the inconvenience of having to put on some clothes and walking to the north side of the Club to order food from the grill. Back then it was a self-serve system and you had to wait on yourself.
Pretty soon the itemized statements included large orders of French Fries. It’s a bit sad to think that we could use up the bulk of the food minimum in charged French Fries, Cokes, Doritos and frozen candy bars. Mother of the year!
Sara and Evan continued to enjoy time at the pool well into their teenage years. Eventually they wanted to spend time with their friends at the lakes and afternoons at the pool became less frequent. That was OK with me because I still had an extra child (Ramie) who was more than willing to go to the pool with her old Mom.
Ramie was just three years old when she started swimming lessons in 1994. She quickly learned the basics and bravely jumped off the diving board into the arms of a waiting lifeguard. She was a fish in water and my new excuse for hanging out at the pool.
Even faster than learning to swim, Ramie learned to “charge”. The kid was truly advanced at three years of age – she had taken to that whole “charge” thing and would happily buy a treat for new found friends. What a generous little kid! Randy gasped a few times when he opened those summer statements from the Club – wondering aloud – “what is a Charleston Chew”?
For a few summers, after Randy got sick, I didn’t spend much time at the pool. After he passed, I spent even less time. I wondered if I should keep my membership but decided to keep it for Ramie – she was my fish. We had been through so much and dropping the membership would be another change and losing the use of the pool was like losing another part of Randy.
Ramie went on to be a lifeguard and didn’t spend that much time at the pool while in High School. But no problem - the grandsons were here by then and we began to take advantage of the pool once again. They got signed up for swim lessons, I got to see them more often and they even learned how to “charge”. Sara would bring the kids for a sleep over and we would spend a couple of days at the pool – I figured I would keep the membership for a while longer.
My Sara is in her 40’s now and Ramie is nearing 30 – so on occasion we will enjoy an adult beverage before our meal. Which is a huge plus when relaxing by the pool. We no longer have to serve ourselves and the wait staff is there to meet your every need. For many years now we have eaten proper “grill” meals – popcorn chicken and hamburgers are the most popular. The grandkids will still charge a bag of Doritos and a Coke but it doesn’t show up as such on the itemized statement – I kinda miss that…
I hosted a makeup birthday party for RaiLee at the pool this year. Her “Cowgirl” birthday themed party had been flooded out in March. It was a small group but so easy for me as the staff waited on us and the pizza was delicious.
These days I mostly just sit in a chair and take pictures of the kids having fun. It’s too hard to climb out of the pool and seeing my swimsuit clinging to my flabby body may give the kids nightmares. No one needs to see that.
Rai’s latest pool thing is learning how to dive. She is just getting started but is determined to figure it out. Rai is improving with guidance from her mother and encouragement from the lifeguards on duty.
I’m glad Randy gave me and our kids this opportunity to enjoy summers at the Club. Our kids and grandkids all learned to swim at that pool and I know that he would be delighted to see Rai diving fearless into the deep end. He would be scared but oh so proud of that brave little girl. I imagine if he were alive today, he would be sitting with Sara and I on the edge of the baby pool, keeping all the bigger kids away from our Gracyn.
I think I heard him gasp when I opened the June statement and saw the balance – but hey, it could have been me who gasped. But then I thought of all the fun we had that month, the time spent with family, the kids clowning around in the water, the birthday party for Rai, that excellent Bloody Mary, not having to cook… membership and memories at the Club – priceless!