Refreshing, I thought, as I floated to the surface and watched dirt and tiny pieces of leaves drift from my overalls towards the skimmer... But, the plunge didn't nearly take care of the dehydration I felt.
I squelched up to the house, wrapped a towel around myself when I reached the mud room, and dripped along the hall to the kitchen.
The interior was a perfect display of utter chaos, with dirty dishes stacked beside the sink, while clean dishes languished in the dishwasher. My eldest was in the process of concocting a batch of cookies, and a light dusting of flour and cocoa powder coated every surface. As all the countertops were clearly in use, the younger two offspring were icking up the kitchen table with what can only be described as a modeling clay factory.
I glared at my children, then spotted a pitcher on the counter near the sink: the iced tea must have been just made, as there was a beading of condensation forming on the plastic jug's exterior.
I grabbed a clean cup from the cupboard, and poured myself a large glass, while gazing out at the tidy garden outside my kitchen windows.
Yes, the inside of the house may look like a midden, but at least the outside was back in some semblance of order.
As I had these self-congratulatory thoughts, I took a huge swig, and swallowed twice before the taste hit me.
"JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH..." I gasped and gagged at the same time. "WHO MADE UP THAT TEA??? It tastes like BOG WATER."
"NOT ME!!!" screeched Wee Three, before I'd even finished emitting the first expletive. (This has become her main defence-mechanism-of-choice these days, as it's just easier to deny everything than to explain anything.)
"It wasn't ME," stated Child Number Two as she slorped another handful of liquid sludge onto her sculpture, in an attempt to make the situation even more sticky, "I don't even LIKE iced tea."
"Well, it certainly wasn't ME," stated my eldest, obviously assuming that she didn't need to add any more detail to the discussion. She HAS, after all, attended courses at the Stratford Chef School, and her skills are far too developed for such an amateur catastrophe.
"It had to be SOMEBODY," I bellowed, as I made for the liquor cabinet, and began mixing myself a fortifying gin and tonic, "Why else would it be sitting there on the counter???!"
On the counter... by the pile of dirty dishes... that had accumulated during my sojourn in the garden...
My stomach turned again, as I investigated the contents of the pitcher.
Dirty dishwater, with a used j-cloth thrown in for "steeping".
NEW RULE, PEOPLE... Dirty dishes left on the counter will result in a monetary fine of $5 per item.