At my grandmother’s

Heuschrecke am Pool

Insect by the pool (c) Sylvia Voigt /

„My daughter does not like the summer!“ My mother  looked at me as if inspecting a strange insect under a microscope. For her, summer was all she yearned for during autumn, winter and spring. During the summer months, she would spend every free minute on our terrace roasting in the sun .

For me, however, summers in the heart of the industrial area, we lived in, were  humid and hot, filled with sticky air. Returning home from lessons in my sweltering school meant a sweatbearing 45 minutes‘ walk in plain sun along roads without trees, without any shadow. Was I ever relieved when I finally reached the coolness of the rooms behind the door of our house. Why go out, sweat and suffer again? Or lie down on the terrace in just the same, hot, plain sun, I had just escaped from?

Still, my mother was wrong. I did like the summer. The summer at my grandmother’s.


The pool
(c) Rainer Sturm /

Arriving in her large living room I could already see the swimming pool right in the garden, blue sparkling amidst the shadows of large, green, cool bushes. My sisters and I hurried up to change in the visitor’s room and then we dashed into the garden and dived into the fresh, cool water. Very, VERY cold water! Gasping for air we reached the surface, clinged to the edging of the pool.

Girl diving in pool

„Pooling“ (c) wolla2 /

Chasing one another, under water, above water, in the pool, out of the pool, finally ended in easily bobbing up and down in our little private lake, an occasional dragonfly hovering above our heads.

When our skin had almost reached the colour of blue ice, we reluctantly left the pool, sank down on our bath towels, we had spread on the grass.

flower floating in a pool

(c) Miriam Trescher /

Hungry as sea lions we started to chew on some hard left-over bread rolls. Never had better bread rolls in my life! Dozing away, we left ourselves to dry by the afternoon sun.

The crunching of my grandmother’s footsteps on the garden gravel announced the coming of evening. She did not immediately make us leave our paradise. She sat down on a garden chair, looked with us over the pool and the garden. When, after a while, she stood up, we knew, it was time to go. Reluctantly we followed her back into the house,  to return to my parents‘ home and to everyday summer.

Silent pool (c) Jeffrey Jung /

Silent pool (c) Jeffrey Jung /

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