When we moved into our current home, the only downside we saw was the presence of a pool. This particularly the case of my dear husband, who investigated the option of filling it in. When he found out that it would cost several thousand dollars to get rid of it, we decided to get comfortable with the notion of keeping it, and how to feel OK with the maintenance and the safety issues.
I grew up swimming, and being in the water is one of my favorite activities – I prefer the ocean, but pools are great, and I always fantasized about having a pool when I was growing up. But, now, I was looking at how to keep it clean, and balance the chemistry, and dealing with the pump, filter, and plumbing. My best friend in this endeavor has been www.troublefreepools.com, who teach the BBB method: “Bleach, Baking Soda, and Borax, three common household chemicals which can replace expensive pool store chemicals.” I’ve learned more about acid-base chemistry from maintaining the pool than I ever learned in college or medical school (kind of sad, that, but it just goes to show that sometimes you really need to do the experimenting with real materials for information to sink in. Just reading the theory doesn’t do it.
So, this year, our pool looks like this:
The second issue was the safety fence, which you can see in the photo above. The DH is very anxious about someone drowning in the pool. I sympathize – I’m not crazy about having anyone drowned anywhere near me. I was a lifeguard in high school – I’m a doctor now. It would be unprofessional for me to have anyone die anywhere near me. But, we got a safety fence (which suffered a little damage in our last big storm). And, no one has drown here (yet!).
And, today, we had our third Shabbat/Saturday of the summer with a pool full of kids (and a few grown ups) – lots of laughs, a relief from the hot summer sum of metro DC, and exercise (= two exhausted kids who fell asleep without difficulty tonight).
We can make ourselves crazy worrying about liability and the extra water bill, or we can just enjoy. Doesn’t the latter option sound better?