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Posts Tagged ‘swimming pool’

Our Pool Before and yes, that is a bull thinking about going for a swim.

I’m baaaack! Or am I? This recent writer’s block has seemed endless, much like the Covid pandemic that has kept me housebound for what is turning into years, and in that time discovering I love being a “homebody.”

But there is another story to be told and it goes like this:

Once upon a time in 1989 when Bill and I first retired in Camelot, I insisted we needed a swimming pool to make life complete. And so, ever eager to please, Bill made sure a giant hole in the ground was dug and thousands of tons of water brought in and lo and behold we had a lovely in-ground pool that was 8 feet deep at the deep end. And then Bill built a sweet little pump house that made the whole pool look like something in a a fairy tale. And there were vivid experiences and pool stories to tell. Like what about the time a neighbor’s horse ran onto the winter cover and almost drowned? Or how about the recent visits from enormous bulls who live at the nearby cattle company?

But each summer we basked in the beauty of sparkling water that was kept sparkling by all the work Bill did for maintenance and chemical warfare. Once in a while the timing was right and our son and grandgirls would visit and it was a joy to hear their sweet voices playing water games. And how luxurious it all was to swim with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and if you didn’t look too closely over time you might forget the encroaching weeds along the borders. And as the years went by there were less and less visits at the right time of year for swimming.

And suddenly it was 2022 and time to open the pool again only this time I couldn’t get down there walking over uneven ground with recurring Big Foot problems and Bill was sick and tired of the rigors of reopening and maintaining. And so, we decided to plow everything in.

Watching the demolition of a memory was endlessly fascinating as a local farmer who also has an excavating company came in with a front end loader and a big thing with a scoop and finished the job in three days. And the pool is gone.

The next step is to have it reseeded for grass and covered with straw to deter avian hunger And they say September is the best month to do just that. Our order is in and hopefully, come spring there will be a long stretch of beautiful green parklike pasture.

Camelot is not quite the same as it had been for 33 years and I am still feeling a bit sad over the demise of such a special feature. Hopefuly those who follow us will once again enjoy the unspoiled landscape or maybe even dig another hole like we did for another 33 years of swimming in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

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Many steps from house to pool.

Thirty years ago, when we built our little house in the country, we had an in-ground pool installed at the same time.

I insisted we live by water and Bill insisted on a woodstove instead of a fireplace.  It was a compromise.

The end result was a heavy-duty woodstove in the middle of the living room and a swimming pool!

As it turned out, that woodstove grew on me, maybe because it saved our lives through many a frigid winter.

And the pool meant happy memories with our son and the grandgirls, friends who visited, and our two golden retrievers who loved anything water.  Swimming in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia has always seemed to me to be the ultimate luxury.

Oh, and I forgot – there was once a horse in our pool, but that is another story.

But now (due to sheltering in place from Covid-19)  we are pretty much the only swimmers.  We invite Elsa-the-dog to join in but she is suspicious of so much water.

On July 3rd I was determined to get into the old pool and paddle around as a prelude to celebrating Independence Day 2020.  A swim would also be good for Old BigFoot.

But as enticing as it is, getting to the pool is now an enormous challenge.  Navigating all those steps is out of the question since there are many steps down, and the only other way (I thought) was walking down over uneven terrain.

Then there were the endless preparations… What to take…

  •  A water dish for Elsa.  Treats for Elsa.  A leash for Elsa.
  • Towells, walking stick (cane), suntan oil, bug repellent, sunglasses, first aid supplies.
  • How to get down there.  The pool is not far if you can walk.  May as well be to the moon for BigFoot.
  • Bill to the rescue!   “We will take the car!” said he.  And Elsa jumped into the backseat thinking it was another ride.
  • And off we went for a one minute drive around the house to wind up at the pool.

It was an unceremonious but successful arrival. 

Elsa would not even consider getting near the water.

Instead she began tentative explorations and found shady spots (to shelter in place).  In fact she found a cave under one of the big evergreen bushes where she was cool, hidden from danger, and could watch for bears in case the peeps needed protection.

BigFoot loved the swim and was already plotting how to get down there again without the mortification of being driven! 

The only concern is that Bruno-the-Bear or his sister would decide to join in, but there is always Elsa for protection.

Do you think she would emerge from her new private dog-cave-digs to scare off another bear? 

 

 

 

 

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