Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Pool Ups and Downs

Jamie and I moved to Clemmons during the spring of 2016. Well, we actually live inside of Davidson County but we have a Clemmons address. When I took the dogs to the vet in Clemmons (Forsyth County), we got hit up for property taxes on them. So, I had to call about that one even though it was just the cost of 2 beers at a restaurant. But it’s the point of sticking it to the man, right?

And when we call 911, it goes to Mocksville over in Davie County to the west of us. So yeah, we suffer with an address identity issue.

We purchased the house that we live in from Jamie’s father. It was always called the “Big House” because my father-in-law lives in a smaller house about 200 yards away. My wife loves it because there’s an inground pool in the backyard.

I have never been much of a pool person. I can’t swim. I’ve even taken lessons, but I couldn’t even learn how to swim because there is some underlying fear of water that would cause powerful headaches in the back of my head whenever the instructor would try to get me going. It was debilitating, but my parents just scoffed. There must be something buried deep within my psyche that just won’t allow me to learn how to swim. Perhaps my mother tried to drown me at an early age or she turned her head once as I slipped under the bath water. I don’t know. If any of you armchair psychologists wanna take a crack at popping open my proverbial coconut, I’m all ears.

But anyways… I’ve always seen pools as disgusting cesspools of germs. The unwashed masses jump right in to urinate underwater, pass gas (which has small traces of inner ass particles), and spread their foot fungi.

That’s how I’ve always felt about public pools. Now having a private pool has definitely changed my mindset.

I was in our pool less than a handful of times in 2016. I got in the thing more during the summer of 2017 because I had to take over the pool maintenance. My wife got caught up in work and her planting. It simply got away from her. So, I decided to keep up the maintenance and allow her to enjoy it without all the work as she maintained her career and plant hobbies. I figured that if I was taking care of it I should enjoy the fruits of my labor a little more. And my wife got me quite fond of floating around and sipping on craft beers while we chill with our Spotify playlists. She found the gateway for my participation and I’ve been in the thing at least once a week since we opened it up in May. I think gills are starting to form on both sides of my neck.

Television has definitely taken a hit since the opening. Jamie is a very social creature and when you toss in a swimming pool, your social life becomes a party nearly every sunny day. It’s great having friends over for socializing, drinking, and merriment. My wife won’t allow me to hole up inside the house with only the glow of the TV as my company. I have learned how to juggle my TV habit and socializing.

Our robotic pool cleaner (he’s a TigerShark that we call “Sharkey”) recently broke down. He stopped moving and when I popped him open there were ball bearings inside. There were six ball bearings left on the bottom of the pool that Sam had to retrieve from the deep end at my request. Suffice it to say, I had to vacuum the pool with a hose and a long aluminum pole. And I found it to be an easier job if I got in the pool when vacuuming the shallow end.

Sharkey was out of commission for about a month. I was near tears when we got him back from the repair shop. Until… 20 or 30 minutes later he exhibited the same behavior at the deep southeast corner of the pool. I fell to my knees, looked towards the heavens, and shouted “My God! Why has thou forsaken me?!”

The only answer that I received was from the jet above as it kicked into a higher gear or something.

Sharkey went back to the repair shop and a few days later he came back with a whole new motor. That was the problem. We threw him a welcome home party complete with champagne and the finest $10-dollar prostitutes that Davidson County has to offer. People woke up from their drunken poolside slumber the next morning with itchy patches of redness. But Sharkey was home and working like a mofo! There HAD to be a celebration.

And the thing that kills me… Maintaining a swimming pool isn’t that hard to do IF you stick to checking on it daily. I’ve only had to massage it back to spec when we opened it. I gave it a little massage of sodium bicarbonate over a month ago. But a couple of weeks ago, my test strips readings were whacky. It was showing colors that didn’t exist on the package label. So, I didn’t waste any time. I took a sample to Carter Pool Company over on 150 in Arcadia. I was fearing for the worst because the last time (when the wife didn’t keep up with the maintenance) the pool got out of shape, it cost us $236 to resolve the issue. And did I mention those test strips were showing colors that weren’t on the package??

As she was testing the water, she kept saying “That looks good”. Then she said, “That’s off.” And then she said, “That’s an easy fix and that should correct this problem too.”

I started clutching my wallet like Fred Sanford clutching his chest when he felt that he was about to see his dead wife Elizabeth.

So, I asked, “How easy and cheap is this fix?”

The good news… The fix only set us back $36. But the pool was shut down for almost 24 hours.

Now the rain has started falling and that will most likely lead to more chemical imbalances. But hey, you gotta pay to play right?

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