In the Swim

I’ve always been a water-baby.  In spite of a very short swimming season in Northern Ontario and bone-chilling lake temperatures, I’ve been attracted to water and the desire to swim from a very young age.

The only swimming pool I had ever seen as a child was a community pool in a local town during a swim meet, and on TV.

beverly hillbillies

The 1960s TV show The Beverly Hillbillies awakened in me a strong desire for my own pool – like Jed Clampett and his cee-ment pond.  I boldly declared that one day I too would have my own swimming pool.

The fact that I also secretly wished I looked like Ellie-Mae is an entirely different story.

Many years later when we were in the market for a new home, the house we eventually purchased came with a swimming pool … and considerable angst.  We knew nothing about the care and maintenance of a pool, not to mention the risks associated with having two small children around water.  There isn’t a summer that went by without at least one news story of a child drowning in a backyard pool.  Were we being irresponsible for wanting this luxury?

It turned out to be a perfect decision.  A modest house in a modest neighbourhood, the previous owners had dropped a bundle on the backyard and we were the happy beneficiaries.   The boys learned how to swim like little fish and in summer our life was filled with friends and laughter around the pool.

Here we are now 20+ years later and our perfect backyard is showing wear-and-tear.  The pool is now over 30 years old, with a concrete deck that has heaved and cracked over the years from repeated freeze-thaw.  The pool heater died several years ago and Husband refuses to replace it.  His arguments are many and all of them terribly misguided.

DSC02947-F

The end result is that swimming in my pool now is reminiscent of the frigid lake waters of Northern Ontario.  Today was one of those days.  I was hot after my Sunday morning run and wanted to have a refreshing swim to cool off.   What I got instead was a shocking surprise followed by rapidly chilling skin and an urgent need to escape imminent hypothermia.

Husband had lied to me.  At 16C/60F, the water temperature was several degrees colder than what I had been expecting.

Our annual pool war has begun.

 

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Family, Random Stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to In the Swim

  1. A sauna in the backyard next to the pool is the way to go. You’d then swim summer and winter. Time in the sauna followed by a quick dip in the pool (rather than rolling in the snow as the Swedes do).

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  2. jannatwrites says:

    I hope your persistence pays off in the form of a pool heater. (How it works in my house, is that I keep talking about it and finally my husband gives in just to make me shut up- so we’re both happy… he has silence and I have what I wanted 🙂 )

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    • joannesisco says:

      It works in our home too – except in reverse. Husband employs what I call the mosquito factor. He keeps buzzing and buzzing about something until I cave in – it’s a better alternative to physical violence 😉
      Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work the other way. He’s immune to my buzzing. I might need to learn a new frequency 🙂

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  3. NancyTex says:

    You did the smart thing: buying a home with the pool already in. We have sunk stupid, stupid money into our backyard. The kind of money that could have bought us a nice cottage. Last year, when the pool people came to open it for us, they informed us the heater was toast. Hubby was actually game to replace it. I lost my shit and screamed about how I wasn’t putting another penny into this f*&king backyard. (This after spending $1,500 on fresh mulch for the flower beds and annuals for the umpteen planters around the pool.) At any rate… I do love the look of my backyard — but the truth is we don’t get nearly enough use out of the pool to justify the expense. I’m a fairweather swimmer at best — conditions need to be perfect, with the sun beating down on me while I’m in the water. This happens for maybe 2 hours a day due to the huge mature trees surrounding the property, casting shadows over most of the pool area for most of the day. 🙂

    Ed refers to it (the pool) as the worlds most expensive water feature, as really it’s more of a decorative thing at this point.. 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      It seems that somewhere between the two of us there is a happy medium 🙂
      I fear that we will be experiencing our own money pit soon. The pool liner is at end of life and will need to be replaced soon. When it finally bites the dust, we will have some tough decisions to make since there is so much repair required to the deck. I want to start ‘negotiations’ now, but Husband’s head is in the sand.

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  4. Kathe W. says:

    Let the water fight begin! You’re sure to prevail…matter of fact he might as well concede now and heat up the water! Cheers!

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  5. Joanne, this is your own fault. Get him to walk around the perimeter of the pool on some pretext and then trip him. Do not let him out until he caves. If thi doesn’t work, you van have a barbeque outdoors, then toss the briquettes into the pool as they smolder. I have other ideas if you do not favor either of these.

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  6. I’m rooting for you Joanne! I’m the biggest sissy going when it comes to cold swimming pools. Himself and I engage in thermostat wars. I sneakily turn it up be it AC or heating and he turns it down. Can you coerce hubby if you strut around in Ellie-Mae’s cut-offs?

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    • joannesisco says:

      HAHAHAHAHA!!

      The sad part is he wouldn’t have a clue what I was doing. He’s from Quebec. They had different TV shows and he never watched the Beverly Hillbillies. He would have no idea who Ellie Mae Clampett is!!
      We often run up against that cultural barrier … I suspect you do too 🙂

      If I had won the lottery, I would simply have bought a heater myself and had it installed. Alas – I did not win. Are you surprised? I sure was!!! I thought the universe and I had an agreement on this one.

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      • Cultural barrier? We rarely know what the other is talking about.

        I must just tell you – we came inside from 100+ degrees outside to our (to my mind) chilly flat and at exactly the same moment he said, “oh nice!” and I said “ooo nasty!” 😀

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        • joannesisco says:

          Too funny!!! I shouldn’t read anything you’ve written and eat at the same time. There is a high probability of food getting spewed onto my laptop when I burst out laughing 😀
          Gilles and I have had heated discussions only to discover we weren’t on the same topic at all. It appears my marriage is normal after all 🙂

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  7. Lynn says:

    Perhaps you could invest in a wetsuit to extend your season!

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  8. Hoo boy. Best wishes and may you prevail.

    I watched the Beverly Hillbillies all of the time. Granny gave me the heebee jeebees. I liked Jed the best – the kids were just a bit too cornball for my taste. My favourite part, though was Earl and Scruggs opening and closing tunes. Yee Haw!

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  9. A heated pool extends our too short season by at least two weeks on each end. Good luck with the debate – I know you’ll keep it dignified!

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  10. Employ your feminine wiles AKA blackmail 😉 xx

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  11. simon682 says:

    I’ve long been of the belief that there should be more Ellie-Maes. Time to find an old episode of The Beverly Hill Billies and spend the rest of the morning being ten again.

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    • joannesisco says:

      It really was a bad show but for some reason, it had a profound impact on me in so many ways 🙂

      Ellie Mae was such a delightful character without any guile … and she looked good 😉

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  12. LOL! You need to apply more domestic pressure, methinks 😉

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  13. You could build over it and turn it into an indoor pool. Your backyard would be worth more than your house but you could swim all year round. 🙂

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  14. sueslaght says:

    Oh I see many pool war posts in your future:) there are few if any outdoor pools in backyards in Calgary. You’d have to chop ice off of them about 10 months of the year 🙂

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