What a weird expression: “Playing Pool”. It’s summer and summer is hot! Perfect for playing in a pool, river, lake, ocean.. but Playing Pool? That just doesn’t make sense. Pool. Such a strange word when it involves balls & sticks. Even stranger when it involves hay bales & tree trunks.

And it was a strange sight. Driving home. The back way. Well, one of the back ways. Because. Construction everywhere! Every road to where I want to go is under construction. I may as well walk the 20 kilometers to the pool (the swimming kind) or store or base or Tess’ school. That’s how fast my car has been moving lately. That’s why I wound up on the back back way driving by a pool field.

After sitting in idling traffic for an hour, only 10 kilometers from home, I’d finally picked up speed. All the windows down, hot air blowing through my hair, music cranked up and the kids yodeling along with me & Bon Jovi. I was already happy. It doesn’t take much. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, farmer John’s field popped with color. In the midst of all the green, great big blobs of color decorated the fields. I slowed down, cranked my neck, side-eyed his spread as I drove by.

“It’s pool! It’s pool!” Dane screamed in my ear… though I barely heard him with the windows down. But he was right. Farmer John had transformed his hay bales into pool. Pool pool. Billiards pool. Why are there two words for Pool? Three if you count snooker. I don’t know the difference. I do know how to play pool. My Opa had a pool table, my sister has one, and since last week Soren has one. I’m not jealous. I’m not.

Despite being in a hurry to get home and cook dinner and eat (swimming in a pool, a water pool, makes me very hungry), I swung the car around and turned off the back back road onto the tractor road. Dane & I parked the car and happily walked through the fields towards the dressed-up hay bales. Really, I walked and Dane ran ahead.

I caught up to find him perched on top of the 5-ball, begging me to take his photo. Normally I have to beg him, this was a wonderful change of pace! He raced around, hopped and jumped, and climbed from one ball to the next. Only to come to a screeching halt halfway through the field:

“Mom! We can actually play!” And sure enough, in the middle of the balls, there were two cue sticks. Long, straight, heavy, with blue chalked ends ready to play. Sadly, despite his best efforts, Dane couldn’t pick up either cue. Tree trunks are heavy. Too heavy for 10-year-olds. He gave up after 2 or 3 mighty tugs and instead balanced his way from one end to the next, marveling at the length of a giant-sized pool cue.

We spent another 15 minutes taking pictures and pushing the balls across the field (I took pictures, Dane pushed). It was a small part of our day, but a very happy part of our day. It’s the little surprises in life that keep a grin on my face.

Pool Ball “5”

On the 14… we couldn’t find the 10. Is there a 10?

Someone is loving both field pool and posing.

The “pool” village, sadly not our village.

Trying to get the 12 ball into the picture. It wouldn’t budge.

You have to have an 8 ball!

The tree trunk cue sticks are too big & heavy to pick up! But you can balance on them.

Leaving the pool “table”.