Just another Janet adventure – Hamilton County Reporter


“Remember the Titanic” was my first thought. My second thought was, “This might not end well.”

I had just set sail in my daughter’s pool on the only watercraft available worthy of a pool to float on. It was a large inner tube. I never thought about different sized inner tubes. I just knew I wanted to float, and that was my only choice.

I was all alone. Emily was tucked upstairs in her home office. Aiden and Leah were at school. Drew was in Nashville, Tennessee, on a business trip. After flying home the night before, Chuck was on the golf course in Indiana. I just wanted to float around and think about the next chapter in the fiction book I’m writing. I think well while floating.

I sat inside the float. The depth of the water I was starting from was only six inches. I was moored in the area where you can sit in a chair and read with your feet in the water. I soon realized that my short legs were barely above the plastic tube. I was more in a V position with my feet several inches out of the water, pointing skyward. I had seen photos of my friends floating down White River, all the while their legs hanging gracefully above the inner tube with their feet in the water guiding them in the direction they wanted to go. . The only thing in the water was my rear end (as my mom always called it) and it wasn’t leading anything.

As I pushed the side of the pool, I had an immediate tinge of fear. I shrugged…but only for a few moments. The fear returned as I thought about all the things that could go wrong.

I floated a bit, getting closer to the deep end. My hands clung to the handles of the float. They couldn’t reach the water either. As I made my way to the six foot deep area, I realized I was uncomfortable and decided to “adjust” my position. My hands clung to the float for life as I tried to wiggle my legs on the float a bit more, hopefully creating a more comfortable ride.

I couldn’t get a good grip with my legs, so I pulled my left leg in the air, literally… grabbing leverage in the air. I kept trying to change positions as my leg kicked skyward. I was starting to sweat. I started imagining all kinds of things, including the worst.

What if I slipped into a position where I couldn’t get out of this inner tube? What if I hit my head and slip under the tube and drown? Ok, I’m being dramatic, but when you’re stuck at sea or in a pool and can’t get out, your mind goes to all sorts of scenarios as you try to figure out how to direct an inner tube to the safety without using your feet as rudders.

My feet could only reach the water if I arched my back, thus pushing my belly towards the sky. I looked more like a wading humpback whale than a little vintage grandma, floating happily in the pool. My toes and feet rowed with all their might. I still couldn’t control the direction of the tube, except I knew I was backing up, toward the shallow end.

It took a while, but I was finally in the zone where my rear end was dragging the six-inch shallow area. I had survived my 30 minute tour. I wrapped the inner tube around my legs and head and threw it, with all my remaining energy, into the corner of the veranda.

I could almost hear Celine Dion singing, “You’re here, there’s nothing to fear…my heart will go on.”

Please don’t tell Emily or Drew what happened as they may not allow me into their pool unsupervised.

In fact, I never watched Titanic. I don’t think I ever will. I just know the quote in the movie that says, “Promise me you’ll survive. That you won’t give up, no matter what.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Janet Hart Leonard can be reached at [email protected] or follow on Facebook or Instagram (@janethartleonard). Visit janehartleonard.com.

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