Friday, September 7, 2007
One of the nice things about our house is that it came with a pool. And when I say nice, I mean nice like children are nice when they are sleeping. A pool has many wonderful things like providing the children a way to be outside of the house when it is 120 degrees with out suffering heat stroke. I never cease to be amazed that even if it feels like you are living on the surface of the sun, if you can manage to get wet, you will feel cooler, yes even cold. But as wonderful as pool ownership is, it does come with some inconveniences. One of these would have to be that pools tend to have many hidden costs that tend to drain a budget faster than a kid can drink a Slurpee on a hot day. Things such as electricity to run the pump and water to refill the pool when water is lost to dehydration or children splashing. I don't know who invented the game of lets jump up and down in the pool until we create a tsunami that will send half of the water splashing onto the lawn but apparently it is quite a popular game. Other costs include chlorine, nets, brushes, and pool toys. Apparently water is not fun enough, you need noodles, pool floats, and blow up things to maximize your pool enjoyment. Another cost is a solar pool cover. This is a kind of a catch 22 thing, because it is a bit pricey to buy, but it cuts down on dehydration. So you get to choose if you want to spend your money on water or the pool cover that will also have the benefit of heating your pool. In Las Vegas during the hottest part of the summer, if you leave the cover on , you can heat your pool to the temperature of a Jacuzzi. This proves not to be very refreshing, but is good for night swimming. The sad thing about the cover is that the sun and chlorine tend to be hard on the wear and tear of the cover. This results in the disintegration of the plastic which in turn leads to tiny blue triangles sluffing off the cover any time it is moved. I call these things the blue scourge. Our first cover wore out last spring, and after fighting the blue scourge for a month or two, I finally had to give up the battle and throw the thing away. I don't know if I will ever completely eradicate those tiny blue triangles, but at least they are not in the pool filter anymore. Filters are another way that pools can require financial investments. Here again it is a catch 22 because even though filters are quite expensive, your pool will not remain clean and will instead assume the role of swampy marsh in the back yard if you do not keep the filters in good working condition. Another bad thing about pools is that they require a fair amount of work each week. This involves brushing the sides, vacuuming, and skimming pine needles from the surface. I really don't mind cleaning the pool that much. In fact I get a great sense of satisfaction when it is done and it looks beautifully pristine. The problem comes when one is not home for two months. This is when the fact became very apparent that cleaning the pool is my job, because it didn't happen when I wasn't here. So maybe some day I will be able to afford a pool cleaning service that will come weekly and care for my pool, whether I am here or not. Until then I am stuck with a pool man named Pat.