Life is Lovelier with Lace…and Swimmimg!



“How many summersaults can you do?” my cousin asked me as we both dove into the water once again, with the renewed challenge.

“Three!” came Diane’s response.

“Let’s try for four! Ready, set, go!”

We were just off the dock, waiting for Uncle Jerry to start up the speed boat for waterskiing.


“Who’ll go first?” 

“Oh, I don’t  care. You want to?”

And the fun began. Again. Another day in the lake. One of those Minnesota lakes. Not all of them were fit for swimming. Fishing, yes. Swimming, no.


“You must have an unmucky lake bottom! There was nothing worse than your toe slipping into slimy…umm, let’s see now. What does the muck remind me of?”

“Oh, I know!” The adult Ludvigson Lace Lady just took a moment to google muck synonyms, to no avail. But after some of her own thoughtful remembrance, she succeeded with her own:

“Cow Manure!”


And if the Ludvigson Lace Lady youth could be revisited, she would add,

“Freshly ‘spilt’ after the milking was done – at the Hietke’s dairy barn, just down the road from our lake!”

That would be Knife Lake. With that being said, Knife Lake is still remembered with fondness. Regardless of the bottom.

“But the bottom is nothing to be fond of!”


Swimming began before Knife Lake for the Ludvigson Lace Lady.

“Dad was always in the water with us kids. He would sneak up and grab our feet, to scare us.”

In reality, he was intensely motivated to teach all five of his kids how to swim. Beyond that, having fun in the water was all that mattered.


The raft was an unswerving motivator for the young Ludvigson Lace Lady. In her elementary swimming years, there was a raft out in the deep water.

“Twin Lakes, possibly?” It was in the heart of Minneapolis.

Oh, how I wanted to get to the raft. And jump off!”

But her dad would not allow floating devices.

“None of the kind.”


So with swimming came the rite for the raft. And once on the raft, jumps and dives.

“Without touching the lake bottom!”

“And I did!”

It was a highlight of her life.

“At least if you could help it,” remembering Knife Lake. “As a shallow lake, you have to be brave if you want to ski.” And she was not talking about putting waterskis on top of the water, with you feet in the rubber slippers.


She is speaking of touching the manure/muck on the lake bottom!

“Turtles, too!”

Yes, the turtles could be found snapping in the grassy areas of the lake.

“You must plan your falls in the middle of the lake. And then, when you fall, make sure you paddle your feet.”


Not to hold you up, but to keep the fish from nipping at your legs!

“We never swam in a pool as a child! Dad didn’t like pools. Probably the chlorine.” Or maybe because there were no pools around.

“Minnesota didn’t need pools, boasting of the ten thousand lakes,” she can hear her dad say.


But later, the Ludvigson Lace Lady lived in Arkansas. Ten thousand lakes? In Arkansas? Arkansans only believe 10,00 lakes to be Swedish folklore. But no lakes was no problem to the Ludvigson Lace Lady. The pool life was introduced, and loved!

“The pool has great bottoms!”

As her days were soon filled with one boy, then two, three and four, pool time was almost daily, May through September!

Lots of swim time!”


“No flotation devices, until you can swim in the deep end!” Memories of the Ludvigson Lace Lady’s dad swirled around in her mind, as she watched each of her boys in the water.

“Well, the wings weren’t around in my day. They will certainly help in the swimming process.” She gave in, much to her dad’s chagrin.

She used the wings. She also bent the rules and had the boys enrolled in YMCA swimming lessons!


“One of the best investments ever!” 

What fun this Ludvigson Lace Lady/mom had watching each of her boys learn how to swim with expertise, under teacher instruction!

“No fears invaded my mind when we swam anywhere else after that!”

In fact, as the years rolled on and they were swimming well at the city pool, you might have seen the Ludvigson Lace Lady once again in the deep end, hanging around the diving board.


“Closest thing to a raft!”

And if you could hear her thoughts, you’d hear her debating with herself about summersaults.

No, don’t embarrass your boys.”

(The real reason being, old age equalibrium issues.)

“Otherwise, I’d do it. Three or four, maybe.”


Life is Lovelier with Lace…

“I don’t know why I don’t jump in a pool now. It surely is hot enough.”

The real reason might be:

▪ To be seen doing summersualts is just not acceptable at 60.

▪Acknowledgement of lost swimming abilities is just too humiliating.

▪Swimsuits just don’t enhance her body beauty!

▪Crocheting Lace is more fun!


And with that reason, the Ludvigson Lace Lady bows out. With swimming on her mind, she can crochet to the raft. She can dive in the deep. She can do multiple summersaults…with the hook.

Hooking with chlorine on my mind,

~Debbie Ludvigson

The Ludvigson Lace Lady


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