Saturday, July 3, 2010

Come On In, The Water's Fine (limited time offer)

While I can't recommend giving birth in Arkansas in mid-August, there is a silver lining. (Or, if you want to get technical, a bright blue vinyl lining.) Every year, just in time for his birthday party, Big Box stores are tripping over each other trying to move swimming pools.

My thrifty husband had been keeping an eagle eye on the sales, watching the prices get whittled ever thinner as summer wore on. Just in time for the party, he found a price so good he bought two! (I am not making this up.)

Because we had been waiting out the price war, or perhaps because we are morons, we waited until the morning of the party to set up the pool. Come on, it says Easy Set right on the box, how hard could it be? Well, turns out, pretty freaking hard. We dutifully consulted the directions, right after we noticed that our pool looked more like something discarded on the floor of a truck stop men's room than a pool. There may have been one or two vague allusions to the benefits of a level surface. Something along the lines of YOUR POOL ABSOLUTELY MUST BE SET UP ON AN ABSOLUTELY, PERFECTLY LEVEL SURFACE OR IT ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT HOLD WATER AND SWIMMERS WILL BE AT RISK OF IMMINENT DEATH AND DISFIGUREMENT blah blah blah. So, funny thing, turns out the hill in our back yard may not have been ideal.

But the kids were troupers. Even if there were only 11 inches of water, all perilously hovering in a thin ridge along the back wall of the pool, it was wet and they were happy. As for the adults, we buy alcohol by the case, so no one seemed to notice. The minute we sobered up the next day, we dumped out what little water remained and dragged the soggy shell up under the deck to dry before neatly storing it away for winter.

Three weeks ago, when I decided to give the pool another go for this season, it came to my attention that neat storage is not our strong suit. The liner was dejectedly waiting, right where we abandoned it ten months ago, in a moist heap on a lawn chair. To its credit, it made the most of its downtime, cultivating close personal relationships with all manner of slimy lifeforms. It seemed almost a shame to break them up they'd grown so close, but after a few hours on my hands and knees, scrubbing with bleach in the Arkansas sun, the only slimy thing left in the yard was me. I found the most level surface we own, turned the hose on high, and let the cool water slowly rise around me.

For most people, this would be the happy ending. But as I mentioned above, I am a moron. You'd think several hours of intimate contact with slimy green microorganisms would have given me a clue, but it never occurred to me that my cute little Easy Set pool would require care. I thought I'd just fill 'er up and add kids, but the algae had other plans. Within days, the pool went from sparkling cool and clear to this . . . .

No, really.

We're not entirely sure how the squirrel bit it, but our money's on nut allergies.

The good news is, I've gotten so handy at scrubbing the pool with bleach that this time it only took an hour. To date, that brings us to about 25 hours hard labor and 9000 gallons of water for an hour and a half of fun.

Totally worth it.
. .


bloorondo said...

Oh...great, Honey. Next why don't you write about (and photograph) the floor of our shower? Or maybe the produce drawer of the refrigerator. How about a wide-angle expose (ex-po-zay) of the garage?

Soozietoone said...

I bet that squirrel was one that chewed the wiring in my car. He totally deserved such a death.