Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Old (New) Swimming Hole

Unlike some of the bloggers who I read, we do not live along side a stream or a river. So, our summer swimming pleasure comes through the very suburban site of a swimming pool.

I recall fondly swimming in a genuine swimming hole in my teen years. Many such swimming holes in this part of Pennsylvania were created when creeks were dammed. The dams served a purpose in their time--they powered mills. But now, they no longer do. So a bit at a time, the dams are being disassembled, as they block the healthy flow of water.

In place of a swimming hole, suburban backyards have been dotted with swimming pools. There are some parts of the country where you can see pool after pool after pool if you view neighborhoods from the air. The neighborhood we live in has some 40 homes. We moved here almost 30 years ago in the fall, and there were NO swimming pools here. The next spring, we had a swimming pool installed. It seemed like a luxury at the time. But over the years, it has provided much entertainment, first for our son, and his friends (one of whom showed up with an inflatable row boat!), then for our daughter, who held her high school graduation party around the pool.

The pool has been the site of other parties--one celebrating a good friend's 60th birthday, one celebrating my husband's 60th birthday, and one celebrating the anticipation of my father's 90th birthday.

With our children grown and gone, I have turned the pool into a sometime summer fun site for neighborhood children.

One thing the pool does require is MAINTENANCE. And, occasionally, parts need to be replaced. We noticed several summers ago that the liner of the pool was beginning to wear out. Normally, the liner should last about 15 years. The first liner lasted about 11, and was replaced. This one had lasted 17 years--so I guess the average turned out to be what it should--a liner SHOULD last 15 years.

So, it was time to get a new liner.

Herewith, the process.
First, you drain the pool--all the way to the bottom (and hope it doesn't rain--it did!).

Then the people from the pool company come and do the rest. The old liner is cut up, and taken out--I was not there to see (or photograph) that step.

The new liner is then placed in the pool, and a pump is attached to suck out the air, which causes the liner to adhere to the sides.

Then you make sure the water truck comes to fill the pool. Yes, you COULD do it with a garden hose but it . . .takes . . . a . . . long . . . time.

Then you put all the fixtures in place--ladders, diving board, and all the chemicals to balance Ph and keep the water clean.

Almost ready--make sure the warning signs are in place.

What is there left to do? Hmmm--hope for warmer weather (we have had a very cold spring) and on a sunny Saturday, invite the neighbor children over!


Lynne said...

It looks so pretty. I'll bet there were many laughs around that pool.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Where is the mandatory sign, "Don't Pee in Our Pool, We don't swim in your toilet!"

I remember helping an uncle build two swimming pools. The first in a small suburban yard (hand dug) where it was half in and half out of the ground. The dirt was used to fill in the raised deck area. That pool had a liner. His second pool was an above ground pool with a big raised deck around it. It was heated with a coil of black pipe on the roof of the change shed through which the water flowed. (Our summers are short and their water came from a well.

I do remember a few good times around the pool. I am sure my uncle's five children had years of fun.

Pools scare me if there are ever going to be young children around. Accidents can happen in a flash.

I prefer swimming in natural settings where the water is over my head. In the north here "off the rocks". I grew up near a river and even swam in the frigid water of Lake Ontario. As you know now I have my beloved river to float around in.

NCmountainwoman said...

Aren't you a five-star neighbor!!! Most folks concentrate on keeping the neighborhood children OUT of their pools. You must be a favorite among the neighborhood children. Now, if you tell me you serve them cookies and lemonade...

JeanMac said...

Love our pool and it too, was fun for our kids and their friends.

Beverly said...

I love the sounds of a family with children around the pool. A couple of years ago, one of the missionary families from Haiti had a reunion here in Bradenton, and they all came down to swim. The sounds of life were music to my ears.