. . . buying a house with a pool, that is.
Hubby and I had been married a year and were into the house-hunting process. My kids were ages seven and eight years old at the time and already avid swimmers. It seemed like a no-brainer. Apparently it was one of those times I had NO BRAIN!
Don’t get me wrong. We lived in that house for thirteen years and have many fun and happy memories pool side. We always knew where the kids (and all their friends) were. 🙂 We had great pool gatherings with friends with fun recollections of pool toys, pot lucks, rain and making lots and lots of coffee for 50 people as we moved inside on an especially unseasonably cold July day.
But there are downsides . . . and, of course, stories to go with them. 🙂
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I don’t swim. Downside!
I became the “pool boy” and we all learned about chemicals and plumbing and backwashing and such. Our backyard had many beautiful massive old trees hanging over from neighbors yards which were nice for the shade but not nice for the leaves in the pool and strainer. In the high season, there were daily skimming and weekly vacuuming chores. After every rainy or windy episode, skimmers needed to be emptied.
Skimmers were a story in themselves. Who knew what we may encounter – dead or alive. There were chipmunks, squirrels, baby rabbits and an occasional bird. Some we saved; most we buried (actually that meant disposing of behind our bushes.) Did you know chipmunks could swim? They just can’t climb ladders! 😦
A pair of ducks came annually, never with the babies but just to get away for a private swim. Sometimes they showed up before we even had the winter cover removed. They ate out of our hand. I think early on they realized that they had a good thing going at our house.
Along with pools come pool rules! I was a stickler! You know – the usual: no running, no glass, little kids needed parents and floaties. One time a neighbor took her little one home for a potty break and, when finished, the child came running back, jumping right in the pool with neither parent or floaties. Needless to say, she immediately went under and I grabbed her, pulling her out. After making sure she was ok, I harshly (according to the mom) tried to make the point of the mommy/floatie rule. The mom was upset WITH ME because I made the kid cry. Sheesh!
That same mom informed me when we moved in that the previous owners allowed them to use the pool whenever they wished. Uh, no.
We’d have an annual pool party with families from church. A pot luck. We learned quickly that the teenagers needed to be at the back of the food line. Those teens sure can eat!
Every year we added to our assortment of towels and goggles from those forgotten.
I thought we were cool parents because we had an old fridge on the covered porch which I kept full of soda for the kids. The kids, of course, wanted brand name and I settled for Vess. They have a lot of flavors but apparently not cool. It’s amazing how they always were consumed though.
One of the kids had a high school graduation party and tried to push for a keg. A KEG! Seriously? I would never, never, never provide a keg for ANYONE! I guess one has to try. Ah, kids! 🙂
The pool was large enough to have a diving board. The kids always complained it didn’t have enough bounce. HA! I had no problem with that and never replaced it. Less dangerous tricks!
If we went on vacation, we needed to have someone check on it, on a daily basis.
Did you know, if a stranger or anyone climbs your locked fence, swims and drowns, the homeowner is liable? That’s a nutsy law that required extra insurance – fortunately never used.
Over the thirteen years we were there, we basically rebuilt the pool. We even landscaped: Fourteen burning bushes along the backside. In their season, they were beautiful. But they are their brilliant (burning) red in the late fall – NOT when the pool is being used. I did enjoy from the kitchen window though.
I have good memories and I suppose had I been a swimmer, I would have enjoyed it more. But it became a part-time seasonal job for me.
The kids had fun and we do have special memories. I was not unhappy to move though.
Years later, after both kids had married, my son noticed our former home was for sale. He thought it’d be a kick to see it so at an Open House, we all went, all six of us. Weird! Not much had been improved since we left and all looked pretty good. Before we went, my son had expressed the possibility of buying it. After the tour, he offered that it was smaller than he remembered and probably wouldn’t pursue it. He did remember that living there with a pool during those years qualified him for a summer job when he worked for a pool company! 🙂
But I guess it’s true that you can’t go back. (And that’s not always a bad thing.) 🙂