Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Pool Men Cometh!

On Saturday the pool place called to verify that we had an appointment for “an opening” scheduled for Monday. She also made a point to tell us that if we had any excess water on top of our cover that we needed to make sure to have it pumped off before they guys arrived. HA HA. Excess water, right. We’ve only had about 2 inches of rain this week, so yes, of course we had A LOT of water on the top of the cover. What fun. The little bitty pool cover pump that we unearthed in the basement doesn’t work all that great. It takes forever to pump the water off and half the time it gets clogged up with leaves and debris. In short, it’s a real pain in the you-know-where!

So, on Sunday we did our best to get the water off. Rick kept fiddling with it but half the time it wasn’t working. He got out a bigger pump that we had in Colorado for cleaning out the water in our fountain. It didn’t work either. We managed to get the little pump working for awhile but it wasn’t getting the job done. We ended up with a “bucket brigade” where I scooped the water off with a bucket while kneeling down, then stood up and passed the bucket over the chain link fence to either my Mom or Rick, then they took the bucket and dumped it over the wooden fence that surronds the pool deck area into the flower beds. GAWD, I hope the plant survive that green, brackish water! Yucko. Anyway, we were pretty pleased with the amount of water we had removed. Until that night when it rained some more and filled it right back up again! We decided to leave it for the pool guys to take care of.

Well, yesterday was the day of the POOL. RIck worked from home in order to be here when the pool was opened for the first time. For those of you that have seen photos of the pool and the ugly white chain link fence that was around it, be prepared to be absolutely amazed at the transformation! We were told that the original owners had small toddlers, hence the overkill. What we could never understand was why the previous owners never took it down. It would have been hard to enjoy the pool, and surely any poolside activites would be pretty boring [read: no spontaneous throwing of bodies into the pool, etc]. All you could do was go through the gate and right into the pool. You couldn’t even sit on the edge of the pool very easily. Even when we met the neighbors last week, one of the first questions they asked when they found out we had bought the “house with the pool” was, hey, what’s up with that fence? So, we knew one of the first things we were going to do was take it down.

So, yesterday, down it came. Rick started by taking down the chain link first of all. A tedious job at best since all the little connecting wires had to be taken off first of all, and most of those with a pair of wire cutters. Mom and I helped by picking up all the little cut pieces of wire and connectors. Next came the top poles and gates. All that’s left now is the upright poles, and since those are bolted into the concrete, they will take a bit more effort to get rid of. The bolts are all rusted, so will have to be cut off. Still, it made a huge difference. Here is the work in process. Note the ugly winter pool cover!
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Hey, we’re starting to feel like we’re on HGTV or something on the “Makeover My Pool” segment. Now all that was left was to wait for the pool guys to come. We were really looking forward to the great unveiling since we had no idea what the pool looked like under that awful cover. They arrived pretty much on time, and it was obvious the one guy, Mike, knew our pool because the first thing to come out of his mouth was “Hey, what happened to the fence?” He said he’d been telling the other guy about it on the way over here. Yeah, and I can just imagine what he was telling him. He did tell us that having the fence so closely around the pool made it very hard to take the pool cover off and put it back on. Uh, yeah, that is kind of an understatement. He didn’t say, but I’m pretty sure he was very grateful he didn’t have to work around it again! They started by letting the water out of all the ugly blue weights that were keeping the cover in place. I asked him if there was another way to do this and he told us about safety covers. They fit so tightly over the pool that all those weights were not necessary and best of all, you’re gonna love this one, NO MORE PUMPING THE WATER OFF! SOLD!! Sign us up for one of those! So, when the pool gets “closed” in the fall we are installing one. They brought a big pump with them and were able to get the water off the cover in a lot less time than it would have taken us. Now we were ready for the big unveiling. What does the pool really look like? Are you ready? Do you have your swim suit on? Okay, here it goes:
TA DA!!!!!!!!!!
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Isn’t it gorgeous? Don’t ya just love it? We can’t wait to go for a swim, but first we need to put its solar blanket on and get the water temp up a bit. Right now it’s hovering around 60 degrees. BRRRR!!! I know the poles sticking up are pretty ugly right now, but hey, it’s a big improvement, don’t you think? Maybe we can stick Tiki torches in the tops of the poles?

The dogs don’t know what to think. We let them out and they cautiously sniffed it while walking the entire way around it. I splashed some water up on Sailor and he didn’t want any part of it! Some Sailor he’d make! Well, Mr. Pretty Paws doesn’t like to get his feet wet anyway. Talk about a mis-named dog, LOL!  They were really funny. Daisy was brave and stuck her feet in at the stairs. We let eBay [the kitty] out and she was pretty funny too. Here are some of their reactions.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We actually don’t have the pump running just yet as we needed to add about 4 inches to the water level. We’re doing that over 2 days so we don’t put any pressure on our well. They needed to do a small repair to the pump hoses due to dry rot, but tonight we should be ready to roll! I ordered 3 new swimsuits from L. L. Bean which haven’t arrived yet. Guess I’ll just have to go skinny-dipping if they don’t come soon. We have no idea what the dogs are going to think when we go in the pool. I expect some pretty funny reactions and maybe a few dogs in the pool as well. I wouldn’t put it past Bart, the water dog, to jump right in with us. Right now they pretty much ignore it. More to come, I’m sure!Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey


Apparently this post offended the previous owners of the house because of the comment about not understanding why the fence was kept up. So, to set the record straight, they had dogs—Labs, actually—who are water dogs, of course, and in order to keep the dogs safely out of the water and to prevent any damage to the vinyl lining in the pool (which is expensive and difficult to replace), they left the fence up.

And, as you can see from our experiences, that may have been a good strategy since, as of this writing, 5 of our 7 have taken a plunge. I don’t think we have had any damage to the liner, but you never know.

Anyway, no offense intended. We love the house, we love the pool. We are just making it ours.

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