Monday, June 1, 2009

But it's free...

I ought not to have opened the door when he knocked. But I did and he came in with a brown envelope and an earnest look on his face. Our neighbor down the way. Thank goodness he left his 'concealed weapon' elsewhere. I invited him in. Another mistake. Frank wanted to give Isabella the vinyl pool he had 'sitting in the shed'. He made a point of mentioning he was thinking of offering it on the local internet buy/sell/trade/give away site for $50 but his wife suggested he give it 'to the folks down the road with the little girl.' What was I thinking? What was Gman thinking? We said "Well, Isabella would enjoy having a pool this summer." Mistake #3. Frank asked Gary to drive down in a day or so and he'd help him heft it into the back of his pickup.

Now the pool pieces and liner have been taking up space in our garage for several weeks. With a bit of encouragement (yeah right) from Bella and me Gman agreed to think about where it might be level enough to put it. The last several days have been fraught with efforts to level a spot, figure out how to get power to that spot, actually make the spot level (which is a serious challenge when you live on a hillside) and begin the effort to erect the pool. Isabella, of course, wants it up in time for her birthday which is less than a week away now. The water will take days to heat up enough to be comfortable for the six girls who will hopefully attend her celebration.

Downsides and difficulties thus far: We've spent a bundle on sand, boards...oh and those two vinyl repair kits we've had to buy. We haven't yet purchased chemicals or the floaty things our girl is imagining will decorate this anticipated cool summer play place. The kid is a competitive swimmer. A four foot deep viinyl pool isn't going to allow much real swimming. Our young friend Joe, who is conveniently staying here with his new bride Desi, has sweated and dug and concreted and leveled and worn himself out. Gman is exhausted.

Upsides (or upclines for those of you who are long time readers of the Belle Banner) include: Isabella now knows how to find out if someting is level and to make it level if its not. She identified two butterflies and one moth while supervising our efforts. Isabella has bestowed 'an entire summer of swimming privilege' to Joe for his hard work. Exhaustion has made Gman far less cranky.

No water has been put into the pool. It isn't even ready to be set up quite yet. But I do know one thing. When someone offers you something 'free' it pays to think long and hard about what it will actually cost.


  1. I guess pools are like puppies~ there's no such thing as free one.