Sunday, June 13, 2010


What a weekend it has been. I am drained-- quite literally, drained.

I found a good deal on a pool-- one of those pop-up jobs with the inflatable rings and as you fill it with water, it rises to hold the water in. Combined with a gift card, coupon and sale, we got a 12x3 feet pool for pretty cheap. Plenty big for us but not so big that we can't maintain it. It's something we have been throwing around for a long time, always talking about getting one, but never actually buying one. We have talked long and hard about the pros and cons of pool ownership, especially one that uses a filter and pool chemicals and we decided to bite the bullet and get one-- figuring out that it's cheaper in the long run to have a pool here that we can use daily versus driving and then paying to use the public pool/beach.

Anyway, after scouting out the most level area we could find (we live on a mountain, the whole yard is on a slant), we set it up inside the fenced garden area in a spot that I can see from the house and inside the fence where Peter can't get into the pool. A pool that size uses quite a bit of water, and we didn't want to use our well water if we don't have to, so we called a water guy and found out that 2000 gallons would cost $100. Not too bad, we thought, so we went ahead and told the guy to come. The pool holds just over 1700 gallons, and if I had several barrels, I would have put the surplus water in there for when the pool needs topping off.

The guy came and before filling the pool, he told my husband that the pool was not level. We told him we were aware of that but go ahead and fill the pool anyway. I didn't hear him say anything else, I was busy with the kids/keeping Peter away/making bottom of the pool smooth/hushing a barking dog... The pool was a little lopsided-- I quipped that there was a deep end and a shallow end and we were ok with that. Needless to say, there was a lot of excitement between the kids, but after the pool was filled, it was late, past 7:30 and we still hadn't had dinner which was quickly getting cold on the grill. Andrew and I put the pool cover on for the night and said we'd play in the pool the next day, Saturday, after we hooked up the filter and rigged up the steps.

In the morning, we told the kids over and over to stay away from the pool, wait for Mommy or Daddy to be there first. Andrew left for work at 9am and shortly after, I was outside hanging laundry on the line. Evelyn was near the pool in her bathing suit and swim goggles just bursting with anticipation. The next thing I see, Evelyn is walking towards me, she is near the burn pit and I see something glimmering, like one of those shimmery, hazy mirages you see on a hot day looking down the road. I look again at the glimmery sight and I realize the water is flowing from the pool!! All this feels like slow motion as I run as fast as I can to the pool and catch the side and pull it up, then turn around to see a small river flowing down into the woods. Might as well have been $100 in shiny pennies flowing away. There was about 8 inches of water left in the pool.

What am I going to do? What the hell happened? Did Evelyn do something? How do I call Andrew and tell him at work? Can I call the water guy and get the extra 200 or so gallons that we paid for but didn't get? $100 fucking dollars! Shit! Maybe the pool IS more trouble than it is worth! So much for a cheap pool if it is costing us this much in lost water. All this went through my head within seconds. What am I going to do??

Here's what I did: I called the water guy and asked them if they could give us the extra water and I was told that he warned us that this would happen-- the water flowed out because the pool was not level and if he came out and filled it again, it would happen again. Well shit. I didn't hear him say that. I think if I had I would have asked him what we can do to prevent it from happening. So I thanked him and hung up. Do I call Andrew and tell him what happened, thereby ruining his day at work or do I wait for him to come home all excited to go swimming only to find out there's no water to swim in? I opted not to call him.

I grabbed all the empty bins we had in the house, dumped out the ones that had stuff in them and brought them out to the pool. I was determined to salvage what water was left and to dig under the pool to make it level. From 10 am until nearly dinner time, I was out there scooping water into bins; shoving the pool aside; digging about 6 inches down on one side of the pool; taking the dirt and dumping it (might as well turn lemons into lemonade, I now have enough dirt for a raised bed). When Andrew came home at 4, he helped me finish the job. By then I had worked out all my anger and put it all into my shoveling, but Andrew was still angry, hissing and spitting.

The pool is level now and we dumped the rest of the water that was in the bins, the same water that I salvaged from the pool, because the kids used it as a dunking area and got it all muddy and we didn't want to put it back into the clean pool. Today is hot and humid-- 90 degrees at 9 this morning-- and would have been perfect for dipping in the pool, especially with the sunburn I have from being out there all day yesterday, but-- no pool.

We have a double birthday party planned for the 19th and we already told some people to bring swimsuits for the kids. We already had the pool opened and filled, then emptied and it's not possible at this point to return it. We already opened and used the pool cover and cannot return it. I already dug out underneath the pool so it's ready to be filled. We are going to swallow the very large lump and pay the water guy another $100 to come back out and fill the pool again. This time I am going to lock the over-excited kids and the barking dog in the house with Grandma so I can hear every word that comes out of the water guy's mouth and if he says something is wrong with how our pool looks, I want to know how I can fix it, so I don't ever have to see money flowing into the woods like that again.


Amanda J said...

Oh I can so relate, those pools are a nightmare, I know because we have one. LOL Last year we finally broke down and built a big raised bed, filled it with dirt, compacted it and sat the pool on it. The kids are in it for the first time today and I hear happy screaming. Have fun with your pool!

Stephanie D. said...

Ouch! Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. I hope that's all the trouble you ever have with this pool.

Karen Mayes said...


jenny said...

Amanda J-- So far, no happy screaming here yet. Pool still sits pitifully empty. We'll get it filled this week and hope that my digging did the trick.

Stephanie-- yes, I hope that's all the trouble too. My excitement over the pool has been thoroughly dampened and I'm a little cautious about it now. If it happens again, that's it for the pool. knock on wood!

Karen-- yes, big ouch!