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  1. Farewell

    Monday, September 2, 2013

    By Samantha DeRose

    When summer gathers up her robes of glory,
    And, like a dream, glides away.
    ~ Sarah Helen Whitman

    This summer comes to a bittersweet end of an era in my household.  It's the summer that we say goodbye to our beloved above-the-ground pool.

    My ex and I spontaneously purchased the pool on a Fourth of July weekend in 2001.  It was hot, I had a few extra bucks on my Discover card, two babies at home, and memories of being green with envy of my friends who had pools when I was a (sweltering, pool-less) kid.

    We hopped in the 2nd hand Nissan Pathfinder that afternoon, headed to Joe Ordini's Pools in Paterson, NJ, spotted a pool that wouldn't max out my credit card, threw it in the back of the truck, pump, pool, chemicals & all, and headed home to assemble it ourselves.

    How hard could it be, right?  It was Monday.  I knew I'd be lazing about in my brand new pool by Wednesday, the Fourth.

    It was scorching hot that day as we dug up and leveled the ground (after chopping through 100 year old tree roots) and laid down the sand (that we didn't know we needed until opening the instructions.  Easy Peasy.

    On Tuesday we got lucky.  There was quite a breeze cooling of the previous day's Hellish temperatures.  A breeze that came in quite handy as we unraveled the wobbly galvanized metal pool which was to be placed ever-so-carefully in the circular tracks that we had laid into the sand.  Tracks that continually were filled with sand rendering it impossible for two people to slide 15 feet of round sheet metal into.

    I suppose there's a reason why Joe Ordini's pool people offered to come to our home (for a small fee) to put it together and then looked at us like we were mad when we said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”  My ex was convinced that he could do it himself (sans help from my father who actually knows how to get shit done).  This was the ex who finished our basement by reading the Time Life books on construction and electrical work. (The electrical work that was ripped out by a contractor who said he was surprised that our house was still standing).

    As the wind picked up and the pool “frame” wobbled and fell, wobbled and fell, wobbled and fell, we began to get on each other's nerves.  Slightly.  And then not-so-slightly.  I do have a vague recollection of chasing my ex to his car with a wrench in my hands because he had refused my father, uncle, and brother's countless offers of help.  Not a proud moment.

    Fortunately for us, my father, uncle, and brother who all lived next door, came to our rescue, managed to pry the wrench from my white-knuckled death-grip, and convinced the ex to let them help.

    Alas, the pool was finally finished (apparently, so was our marriage, but that's pool water under the bridge).

    Despite the poorly executed plans, we did manage to get a lot of good use out of the pool for 12 years.  The kids (and my sister's dog) learned to swim, we entertained, we cooled off, we relaxed.  We conquered algae, leaks, broken pumps, over-chlorination.  All in the name of summer-time fun.

    But today it comes down and believe it or not, I'm sad.  On  Labor Day.  Seems so apropos.

  2. 1 comments:

    1. I enjoy the detailed action scene in your story. lol

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