Summer stories: My family pool disaster

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By Kelli Warner,
KMTR-TV Morning News anchor, Springfield

Ever heard the saying “Summertime and the livin’ is easy”?  The person who came up with that cute little phrase obviously wasn’t in charge of putting up the backyard pool. Let me paint a little picture of what happened over the weekend at my house.

The forecast called for a nice long stretch of weather in the 80’s, which at the time, we hadn’t seen in a very long time, since maybe last September.  The kids were chomping at the bit to go swimming, so my husband and I decided this was the weekend to break out the big family-sized pool that had been stored in the garage since last summer.  My parents bought the pool for the kids last year, and last summer, my dad put it up for us.  If I recall correctly, it went very smoothly.

This year—not so much.

We followed the instructions to memory.  My husband bought some fresh, new sand to level out the spot in the backyard where the pool would sit.  We got everything situated and began to fill it with water.  A couple hours later, with the pool now half-filled, my husband noticed that the base was NOT level and the entire pool was sliding toward the house.  So, we turned off the water and drained it.  Needless to say, the kids saw this as a major setback. My husband went back to the home improvement store, bought MORE sand, put some more work into leveling the base and started refilling the pool.  We watched it for a while.  It wasn’t sliding.  Good sign.  But we should have known it wasn’t over yet.

Several hours later, we went back outside to see how things were coming along, only to discover the cap on one of the drains was loose and water that was suppose to be filling the pool was instead, gushing out into the yard.  At this point I’m looking around for Ashton Kutcher because I’m pretty sure we’re being “Punk’d”.

The kids are now beside themselves.  “We’re never going to get to swim!”  My husband is just plain irritated.  So I do the only thing I know how to calm the situation. While the pool begins filling—for the THIRD time—I take the kids to the store to buy new pool floats and goggles.  Somehow, I felt that would improve the situation in a number of ways.  First, it would distance the kids from my husband so he could no longer hear: “Summer will be over before we ever get in the water!”  And the thought of new pool toys would assure them that simply wasn’t the case.  It worked on both fronts.

Needless to say, the pool eventually filled, successfully.  We added the chlorine and all that necessary other stuff and checked and re-checked the levels.  Good to go.

My husband was finally pleased, and the kids were jumping in, regardless of the fact that the water was ice cold.

As for me, I settled myself into a deck chair watching them laugh and splash about.  These kids were having the time of their lives.  Our six months of perpetual spring had finally vanished. Finally, I thought: ok, now I get the whole “Summertime and the livin’ is easy” thing.

But preparing for summer—not always so easy.  But we got a good story out of it, regardless.