A few days ago, I wrote a post where I lamented about my son’s lackadaisical summer attitude, his obsession with Minecraft and how, due to financial burdens, we would be staycationing at Stone Casa this year. Thankfully, now we can add, “frolic in the water” to our list of frivolity options because the pool is UP, people. The pool is up and prepped and Dougie has finally given us the green light to enter. Isn’t that AWESOME? Wait, I’m sensing you don’t realize what a big deal this is. Clearly, you don’t know what goes into the annual “raising of the pool.” No one does, really, except The Colonel.*
*In case you’re new here, The Colonel is the loving endearment for my husband when he’s being a little extra type-A. It’s okay. He knows it, accepts it and often refers to himself in the third person by using this moniker.
A few days ago I posted this message on Twitter:
The Colonel has spent the last 3 nights preparing the ground for above-ground pool. “We need the perfect level circle.” 3 nights, you guys.
— Dani Stone (@danimichelle) June 15, 2013
Last year, The Colonel spent weeks perfecting the “ground circle” because the year before, the pool started to slide downhill. He considered this a personal affront to his craftsmanship so, BY God, the next year he was determined to lay a better foundation. He measured, brought in dirt, flattened the dirt, raked the dirt, measured the dirt, brought in rocks, raked the dirt, put his right foot in, put his right foot out, put his right foot in and then he shook it all about. . . sorry.
When the children would ask, “Is it time to swim yet, Dadoo,” he would reply, “soon, my children, soon.” Then it was ready, and we swam, and it was good.
At the end of the season, when we deflated the pool and carefully rolled it like a Chipotle burrito to store in the shed, The Colonel even winterized the dirt circle with a tarp, which then immediately became the fall/winter Little Tykes basketball court.
This year, when school ended and the sun started to beat down on our skin once again, the children inquired with wide pleading eyes, “Dadoo, when are you going to put up the pool?” The Colonel narrowed his eyes and replied, “soon, my children, soon.” Then he fixed the air conditioner, worked on the car, fought with our possessed refrigerator and ticked a few other things off his never-ending to-do list.
I assumed, along with the children, that because he had crafted the perfect pool foundation last year and then swaddled it for the winter, it would be ready to go. We were wrong. Over the years I’ve watched him rake, sweat, measure and rake the circle again and again. I have finally come to the conclusion that he is Kevin Costner and the dirt circle is his slightly-larger-than-18 X 48 Field of Dreams. If you build it, they will come, and put an inflatable pool on it.
And it’s not just the circle. He takes full ownership of the entire aquatic apparatus. He is the pool boy, nay, pool man. Hubba. Throughout the summer you can find him outside with his various and assorted pool tools, skimming the bottom and checking the pump/filter lest they decide to malfunction. NOT ON HIS WATCH.
The other night he was perched on a ladder cleaning the pool with something attached to a long pole. The first thing that struck me was how much he looked like a buff wizard who was mixing up a potion in a large blue cauldron and for a fleeting moment thought about asking him to put on a Harry Potter hat so I could snap a photo, then my next thought was how much I appreciate the effort. I often poke fun at his, “do it right or don’t do it at all” mentality but I guarantee our pool is the most level and clean in the whole damn city.
Do I take it personally when I get out of the pool and he cleans it as if I’ve just had a meatball sandwich party with oil rig workers? Perhaps, but at least I know it’s being done right. I lack the patience and commitment for his level of upkeep. If I were in charge of pool maintenance, I would forget to put the cover on half the time and end up digging tree limbs and stray cats out of it on a regular basis.
Today, the pool sits in the backyard like a blue inflatable beacon of hot weather fun. Noodles and floaties are strewn across the deck and swimsuits hang off patio chairs to dry. For the next three months we will swim, have floatie fights, dive for pennies, do somersaults and enjoy this 18 x 48 circle of family fun. And we owe it all to The Colonel. . . finally.