Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Rains In Spain...

Fall mostly on the day we finally get the chemicals balanced in the pool.

Once upon a time, the Davidson clan embarked on one of our yearly "build a fence for a friend" projects. Since the girls had already earned all the monies they needed for girl's camp, we decided some of the fence building proceeds would be used for Moe's cub scout camp. This left us with enough for one big, family sized toy or six small that-was-a lot-of-work-for-nothing toys.

Don't get me wrong, it was a chunk of change, but split six ways, not so much. Thus when Mr. D and I found ourselves of the same mind, it was settled. We decided to purchase an above ground pool. We found one at Costco that fit the bill, but here's the thing - the cost of having a pool is way more than just the cost of the pool. There are chemicals and various accouterments, plus water and electricity because the pool doesn't fill itself and the filter doesn't run on air. These were all things we considered and we decided we had sufficiently counted the cost.

We most definitely undershot the cost.

The first gut punch came when Mr.D insisted we level the ground where we planned to put the pool. As I've mentioned before, he's a "read the directions" kinda guy while I'm a "throw it together, it can't be that hard" kinda woman. But this was a big investment so I didn't make a lot of noise until he rented a ground scalper from Home Depot. My heart dropped to my feet, not so much because of the rental fee (though it was comparatively substantial), but because of what he did to my yard. My beautiful, green-grassed, minimal weed lawn.

After slicing a swath of greenery from my yard, Mr. D was pretty pleased, but I was beginning to think we'd made a mistake. However, it was too late to change my mind, so we put down the tarp and set up the pool. It was about this time we realized, the scalping was just a hair (ha!) too narrow so we ended up taking a shovel to the outside edges.

So where does displaced sod go, you ask? Because it doesn't just disappear. Well, our displaced sod rested on the side of the pool for a week until we decided we should use it to fill some bald (Ha! again!) patches in the yard, but just so you know, that mess is heavy.

Cost unaccounted for:
One sod cutter rental
One massive swath of grass removed
One afternoon of moving said grass

After finally getting the pool situated, we began to fill it with water. I was sure our water bill would double the next month, but it wasn't bad until the second gut punch landed. That's not completely accurate. Gut punch insinuates a quick jab. This has been a long, slow, noggin rub because even though the pool came with a filter, skimmer and hose, the filter has either had to work harder than the manufacturer ever intended or it's a pitiful filter. I can't decide which.

Maybe it's because, even though we placed the water hole of aggravation right next to the patio, the children still manage to haul in buckets of dirt every time they get in the water, and they are in an out of that thing like something people would go in an out of excessively. I can't think of anything right now.

Anyway, the first week of pool ownership found the water clear and beautiful, the chemicals were perfectly balanced, the children spent most of the day outside, and all was right with the world. Then it rained...and rained...and just to mix things up, rained some more and my crystal clear water was but a murky memory.

We added a little of this, and a little of that, then a little more of this because that knocked the other out of balance. It was madness. We shocked that thing so often it was verging on obscene. One should not go through an entire bottle of shock in three days, but it wasn't enough. So we added water, we back washed the filter, we made offerings to the pool gods, but nothing worked.

About that time I realized there was a veritable mudhole lingering at the bottom of the pool so my grey matter thinks, "maybe getting some of that crap out will make a difference." So I hooked up the vacuum attachment. Oh the humanity.

The vacuum will not suck unless every single air bubble is expunged. Every. Single. Bubble. So after half an hour of bleeding that thing like a medieval surgeon, I attempt the clean up the muck. That vacuum sucks, and not the way it was intended.

It seemed like it was working until I realized all it was doing was stirring everything up like Nightmare Kool-Aid, so I left it alone to settle. Actually I threw the hose into the pool and stomped away in disgust. The next day the water was clear, but the bottom was gross again, so I ran the vacuum...again. Again there was dirt Kool-Aid enough to hydrate the neighborhood, but no indication of actual dirt removal.

Cost Unaccounted for:
Extreme aggravation
Loss of two hours of life to futility

As a last ditch effort, I asked the man to purchase a pool vacuum that works independent of the filter. I would like to say it was a different experience. I'd like to say it was a miracle, and everything has come together in a magical swirl of wonder. I'd like to say those things but I can't...

Because it's raining.

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