I’ve made references over the past couple of months to various ‘yard work’ we’ve been doing, some unnamed ‘home improvements’ going on, etc. Well, while the project was completed a little later than expected (partially due to weather, which killed us in June), this is what I was talking about.
I’m thinking of calling it “The Pond”. I mean, sure, Crystal Lake’s always one to bring a smile to my face, but.
Anyway, today was the maiden voyage across The Pond. And, I know just what you’re thinking: “But, but Joe. There’s no one in that pool. It’s empty.”
And, you’d be right. Kinda. You see, that pic was taken right before Pam left town. Not sure if you can see the water level, but it was probably about 3/4 full when the shutter clicked. The following day, my buddy, Scott, got the pumps and filter attached, and rain helped bring her up to the FILL line. That said, it wasn’t quite a pool. Not yet. Basically, it was a big bucket of water. And sure, while that’s what your average pool is, people who can actually swim in theirs treat the bucket water so it isn’t so…bucket-like. Only, today was Saturday. My nephews were working. Sis wasn’t available. Scott’s out of town. Pam is in New York. The weather was threatening, so inviting Billy and Tommy and John over wasn’t even a consideration. Plus, I’m all the way across town. Not to mention, Tommy has an in-ground pool. So, yeah, pool looks empty. Because while I could have set up the tripod and the selfie stick and set the phone to take some video, nope, I just started getting to work.
Which meant, despite my broken foot, starting to treat the water. Yesterday, my sis gave me a lift to Ace Hardware and Lowes, so I could get roughly 300lbs of stuff necessary to start swimming. Pam and I chose a salt water pool because it requires no chlorine, a lot less chemicals and is much less harsh on skin-which is good for Pam, who’s allergic to everything. So, since the pool is 12 foot wide by 24 foot long (much more pool than I’d been looking for, BTW), that means starting off with 210 lbs of salt.
Now, the instructions say to walk around the pool and just pour it in slowly. However, as you can see, much more pool means much less deck. So, yours truly called up the pool place, got the okay to put the salt in while I was also in there, and heaved 2 bags, sealed, over the side. And then…and then the real fun began.
Not sure if the ladder’s in the picture, but even if it is, it doesn’t matter. The pool itself? It’s great. It’s huge, it’s a little taller than the one we had back when I lived in New York, and it probably cost about one fifth of what my Dad paid almost 40 years ago. Does it have metal walls? No. Does it have a metal top rail that makes it look finished? No. But if I can get 5 years out of this thing – and plenty of people in worse places than South Florida have gotten longer out of theirs – I’m guessing Dad would be thrilled. If he was here, no doubt, he would’ve pushed me to invest a couple of bucks more, if not offered me a couple of hundred to upgrade the filter pump and get the solar cover, but I feel pretty confident he watched me hop in this afternoon and got a big kick out of it. And, not just because of the ladder. Yeah, back to the ladder.
This thing wouldn’t have supported me at 16. Of all the corners Intex cut in creating a really big, cool, sturdy pool for this price, the ladder is where they went outright cheap. This thing sucks. It’s kid-sized, at best. I wouldn’t have been able to sit on the platform at 16, much less now that I’m carrying around an extra 40 (20 thanks to the inertia surrounding having a broken foot). So, Dad? He probably got a chuckle out of seeing me trying to get up the ladder without resting too much weight on my foot, while getting that leg over the top rail and into the drink. Probably got a little worried when the weather turned on me (of course), and I had to hurry out. Yeah, hurry.
Listen, let me tell you. When I’m at my sister’s place and it starts raining? The kids get out of the pool. The blind guy doesn’t. If there’s some thunder? Ehh, I’ll think about it. If there’s some lightning? Okay, I’ll probably make for the side, at least. But, when there’s lightning so close and so bright that the blind guy can tell it flashed? Uh, yeah, earth-rattling thunder doesn’t need to be part of the equation. So, Me-So-Sightless has to get to the side of the pool. Then, because I didn’t bother turning on the music, I had to follow the edge all the way until I found the ladder. Then I had to gimp up that rickety piece of junk, get down the other side, and hobble about another 40 feet to the lanai door. All the while, with the rain pounding down. Mouse, wisely, had headed for cover when the first drops began to fall, and was eagerly awaiting my arrival on the couch in the lanai when I finally made it in. Needless to say, I did not, thankfully, get struck by lightning. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, did The Pond.
I only managed to get 2 bags of salt in. I only got about 45 minutes in the water. The ankle brace I bought yesterday is as worthless as the Intex ladder that tried to shrug me off like it was a clown gig at the circus. And still.
All in all? I was ecstatic. When we made the decision to build a deck to support the pool because leveling the yard was beyond what we could afford, we made the right call. When I broke my foot, and couldn’t keep up with my walking (I was averaging 7.5 miles a day), the weight started pouring on. I needed to get the damned pool up. It meant that Pam and I laid out a few more bucks than we’d originally planned on, but man, when I did hop in and floated out into the middle? I was in heaven. I keep getting up, using the kneeling-scooter to go to the back door to listen, see if it’s still raining, or if there’s thunder. Last time I checked, the sky was still grumbling. Ehh, who cares? Pam’s out of town. It’s the weekend. I don’t punch a clock. If it takes ’til 3am for the weather to settle down? I’m going back in. Because now it’s up. It’s finally filled and the water’s kinda treated and my sis said it looked gorgeous yesterday. Until I get a mason jar with a water sample over to Pinch-A-Penny, the local pool supply store, on Monday so they can test it and tell me what I need? Hell, what do I need?
Right now? Feels like I’ve got it all.
Currently listening to “The Metro” by Bella Morte