Opened the pool yesterday.
Who would think those four little words could bring such pain and misery into your life?
The Rising ranch came equipped with a 32′ x 16′ in-ground pool when we bought it all those years ago. It wasn’t the reason we made the choice but it didn’t hurt either. On those few summer days when the weather is right it is indeed a joy.
The rest of the time it is an obligation. A Chinese curse. You know, when you save someones life you are then responsible for them. That is what pool ownership is like. A constant, nagging, needy responsibility.
Vacuum me, clean me, chlorinate me, skim me. It’s me, me, me with the pool.
I have help when it comes to closing the pool. I am too afraid I will bollix something up, not drain an important component properly and expensive freezing will occur. But in the spring I have elected to go it alone. Fun, it is not.
The pool has a cover. This is one of those things that make it so much joy. The cover protects the pool from leaves and such falling into it over the cold months. These end up in the pool anyway in the process of removing the cover. I am not sure of the wisdom here.
The cover weighs four tons. This is of course only an estimate. Give or take several tons.
There is a science, a methodology to removing the cover. The guy who closes the pool every year will patiently explain it to me. It involves folding the ends to the middle and pulling it off. When he does it it’s like a magician’s trick, the one where the tablecloth is removed and all the dishes stay in place. When I do it all the leaves get in the pool. And the cover fills up with water which is heavier than guilt.
Trying to pull the water filled cover out of the pool by myself is like watching Sisyphus. But he was on dry land. I pull on one side, the other slides in the pool. I rush to that side and heave and the other side goes for a swim. Eventually I get the damn thing out and lie panting beside it. Now the real fun can begin.
The water is a disturbing shade of green. It is so cloudy that the Loch Ness monster could be in it’s depths. And all the leaves that the cover kept from it are floating merrily on the surface.
The pump must be reassembled and started. Dozens of plugs and stoppers and clamps and hoses must be found, reattached, inserted and tightened. In the best of times I am not mechanical. This process takes hours of sweating, searching, trips back and forth to the house for more tools after I drop them into the murky depths of lake Rising.
Finally the pump pumps.
Now the clean up around the pool can begin. The winters worth of leaves and debris that has collected around the perimeter. The dirt and scum buildup on the flashing and the diving board. The ladders that are somewhat less than bright polished chrome. All needs to be attended to.
It takes a day to to it. And it is why I am trying to type this without moving any part of my body. Because all parts of my body hurt.
What do we do in summer in NEPA? We swim on that day.
The Rant D’Jour has to do with religion.
Well now we know what your immortal soul is worth…more