A very warm summer night in 2020, a dinner party at the home of friends in the bubble, a dip in their pool in our clothes, and the idea to build a pool was born. But you already know that…I told you to stay tuned.
A conference call with a pool company happened the next day and from there, plans were drawn up, materials were chosen, papers were signed, permits were granted and within weeks, our beautiful little yard became a torn up, massive, muddy mess…and stayed that way for months.
Every time one of us asked the other, “What have we done?” we tried to offer reassurance that we may not exactly have been feeling ourselves.
And then it became like an episode of the “Brady Bunch” when Carol (Florence Henderson) decided to get new curtains (at least I think it was curtains) ... and then the wallpaper looked shabby, then the furniture looked worn ... you get the picture.
We decided that we needed to add a spa…because, why not? And then we thought an outdoor kitchen was the way to go - a new grill, ice maker, little refrigerator. A little outdoor shower needed to happen. Then, there had to be marble decking around the pool and the landscaping had to be almost completely re-done.
And that budget we worked so hard on? We figured we would find something else to cut back…someday.
Of course, these were all dreams for the (hopefully) near future because, although we had written several checks, all we had at that point was a giant sinkhole.
After impatient phone calls, emails and texts that were too numerous to count, suddenly more bulldozers appeared, along with live people bearing materials. Soon we had an actual pool. And then the pool had water in it. And then our grandchildren arrived.
Stepping around (and sometimes in) the mud, they wanted to swim. The water was glacially cold. I googled how long a human being could live in water that cold but by the time I finished, they were already in the pool.
At some point, the mud became gorgeous, realistic, artificial grass (long story and a bit odd coming from this nature person) and even the dog shares physical evidence that it couldn’t seem more authentic. I walk around barefoot in the (forever) perfectly manicured
grass and there are no bees, ants, anything that might sting and I’m not thinking that it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature — I’m thinking she understands.
We began to re-plant trees, bushes and flowers, some that made it through the chaos and some new (none were artificial) and our little dream became a big reality.
Then other things began to happen. The pool heater didn’t work and had to be replaced. The filter and skimmers doing what they were supposed to do, and an entire season of live oak leaves had collected in murky, freezing water. The awesome colored pool lights lost their allure when they went from showstoppers to dwarf stars. They still don’t work. And, the little water features that we had to have, refused to come out of their three little holes in the ground in a synchronized fashion.
All of the pool apparatus was controlled by our phones and that had to be explained to us over and over again until we discovered we were both working the controls at the same time and counteracting what the other had told the pool to do. It took a while before the pool understood who was boss – me!
And, as in the progression of Florence Henderson’s living room, we had to add outdoor speakers and music. That was quite the learning curve for us. I still can’t figure out how to put my playlist on at the pool. I won’t even tell you how long it took me to figure out how to make a playlist in the first place.
When I finally find a time to sneak out and swim by myself (no one in my yard fixing, planting or splashing around - the little grands and their friends were now taking swimming lessons in our pool), I turn the music on, pool temp up and I can swim laps and feel my achy muscles begin to relax.
Nope, it wasn’t in the plans, or the budget, but in our own sitcom that has lasted for almost 43 years, nothing hardly ever is ... and that’s just how we roll (and swim).