Arabian Nights, and Days

I’ve been going to one end of a pool — or overseas location — and coming back again for my whole life. Perhaps my existence should be characterized as a series of laps instead of years. — Nancy Stearns Bercaw, DRYLAND Sixteen nights from now, I will wake up to a brand new Arabian day…

Preorder the Book that took a Lifetime to Write

The time has come to offer you my new memoir, DRYLAND: One Woman’s Swim to Sobriety, now available for pre-order on Amazon. I’ve waited years, decades for this moment. Exactly how much time has gone into this book? Oh, just my entire lifetime. Twenty years as a champion swimmer in Florida. One-and-a-half years as half-assed Peace Corps Volunteer…

In His Own Time

Another summer swim team season is in the books. It was jam-packed with my son’s dual meets and training sessions, with one or the other taking up every single weekday evening since early June. Although I occasionally felt harangued by the scheduling, I mostly felt glad to be busy during what still is my witching hour — the timeframe in which I (prior…

The High Dive

Since going sober sixteen months ago, I’ve dreaded Friday nights and the party mindset that comes with the weekend. But recently, I decided to change my perspective. I took my 12-year-old son David to the public pool, and we spent the early evening redefining “Happy Hour.” I joined him on the long twisty-turny slide, and…

Arabian Swimming Lessons for All

A few weeks before I departed Abu Dhabi, one of the other expats working at Khalifa University showed up at my desk in External Relations. “I just heard that you’re a swimmer,” she said. “Olympics or something.” “Was,” I laugh. “Qualified for Olympic Trials, but didn’t go.” “A group of us swimmer types are helping…

Rubber Ducky, You’re the “Won”

Today I had the most fun since the last time I had fun — which was yesterday afternoon when I bought a new pillow at Pier 1. I’ve actually been having a lot of fun lately in the most random settings. This morning’s glory appeared in the form of a kid-parent swim meet, which David’s coaches had organized…

By Mermaid, I Mean

When I say that I’m a mermaid, I am in no way suggesting that I’m akin to the archetype depicted by Daryl Hannah in Splash. Yet, I will say that I liked how the film turned the Little Mermaid story on its axis — the boy giving up land for the girl’s waterworld. Nor can I claim any remote resemblance to the classic Weeki Wachee…

Window Pane or Pain?

Dear Summer Place, Beau painted you today.  He may not remember too much anymore, but he sure remembers you. Seems you are an amalgamation of all the places he loves: the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Rivanna River in Virginia, along with Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with maybe a dash of the Rheine thrown in for…