We have lived in our house for eleven and a half years. We moved in when The Baby was two months old, and I was still a raging psychopath from his birth. It took at least a year for me to unpack.
Even though that little voice that I have that nudges me in the right or wrong direction, was nudging me to run like hell, we bought our house because it has a swimming pool. I must say, that even though we have sunk thousands upon thousands of dollars into that pool, I have enjoyed it immensely. We have had to put two new liners in the damn thing-in 11 years. The last big work we did on it, we also had a main drain and a light installed. This year, it had a leak. We were sure it had something to do with the way we closed it last year (which you will read about later), so we had a pool-guy-diver come and get in the pool with food coloring for several hours, trying to find a leak in the liner. He never found anything, which was a real blessing. The leak ended up being in the waste line, underground, and we would never have seen it anyway.
It has taken us 11 years to get our backyard the way that we want it – or at least, the way we can enjoy it and live with it. I ripped out the 30 year old deck with a crow bar one day while JC was at work.
Of course we would like to do more to it. Is anyone ever finished with their back yard? I have sunk pavers into the sod myself. Today, I finished sinking the ones that go up to the fire pit after I blew all the leaves off the yard while JC dug all the leaves out of the swimming pool.
JC and I have never closed the pool well together. We don’t really know why. It’s not fun. We always wait until the last possible minute. In our defense, Fall is a busy time for all of us. By the time we get to the pool, it is always full of leaves. We always ends up in a fight. Last year, we had cleaned the pool, had a brand new pool cover still in the box, and we were getting ready to leave for New York. The Middle Child and I ran out and threw a giant tarp over the pool and put things around the edge of it-like rocks, my terra-cotta pumpkins, flower pots, etc. to hold it on. We had all intentions of putting the brand new cover on it as soon as we got back from NYC, but that brand new cover remained in its box until today, a little over a year later.
In fact, when we went to open the pool this summer, one of my terra cotta pumpkins had fallen into the middle of the tarp-where there was so much dank water that it could not be seen. Rocks had fallen in. There were polywogs and all kinds of swamp trash living in the pool. It was a complete disaster. We worked all day, and by the evening, JC and I ripped that tarp off-just as our next door neighbors and their family were sitting down to a BBQ in their back yard. The smell was enough to knock somebody out. The neighbors said that the wind must have been blowing in the opposite direction because they didn’t notice a thing. I think they may have just been being nice.
It was that night, that JC and I had a serious talk about us doing it right at the end of the season this year. The end of September came and went. It was still 90 degrees anyway, though none of us had any time to swim with school back in session.
So, today, October 26, 2019, the two of us went out to the back yard to successfully cover the pool with the brand new cover we bought last year. By the time we had everything ready, my back was killing me and both knees felt like they were going to collapse. Mini Me was outside trying to help us. JC is very particular and wanted to fold the cover this way and that way and then turn it and flip it and then he was sure it would go on exactly right. Mini Me and I do not work that way.
While the two of them were flipping and flopping and turning, I walked over to the pool and started counting the anchors that are set in the pool deck to strap the cover to. That’s when it hit me that the cover was not going to fit. The new cover needed one less anchor on each of its four sides. This meant that we had four extra anchors in the pool deck. The only anchors that matched up were the ones in each of the four corners. When I pointed this out, JC said let’s just put it on the pool and see how bad it is. I was hopeful. Maybe it wasn’t going to be that bad. I was dead wrong.
We got the cover off the pool. We had worked all day. It was going to rain in 30 minutes and the pool and the yard would be full of leaves, yet again. I helped flip the damn thing once, but I started crying, so I let Mini Me help JC flip and flop and turn and twist the cover back into the box. I must hand it to Mini Me-he did not lose his temper.
I’ve had a shower now, and I am enjoying a glass of wine before dinner. We aren’t sure what we are going to do about the pool cover. The pool is so old, they probably don’t make covers to exactly fit it. I think I am going to have to go buy a hammer drill and a 3/4 masonry hammer drill bit and drill new holes for new anchors in the pool deck. And when I say, “I”, I mean exactly that. Don’t get me wrong-I don’t mind doing it. I like being handy. It’s just that I sometimes wish that we could go through a long period of time without having a major clusterfuck. Sorry, Mothah, but that’s the only word to describe things sometimes. As my Daddy would say, “I guess I’m just snake bit” 😉