June 4, 2014
"opening the pool" ~ buretachi-style
[Or, "how NOT to open a pool." And for the purpose of this essay, we will define pool as a 4-ft above-ground metal-frame, soft-liner container for swimming]
First, when you fill the pool at the beginning of the previous season (it wasn't until our second "season" that I caught on to the "season" lingo. As you will see, there were a few other things that we didn't catch on to at first ...), neglect to observe the placement of the drain plug, and that it is positioned so low on the wall as to be, in fact, on the bottom of the pool.
Second, since, with 5,000 gallons of water on top of the plug, you'll be unable to drain the pool in the ordinary fashion (which, I guess, would be to simply open the drain plug and let 'er rip), procrastinate emptying via bucket brigade or siphon until the "season" is so far gone that you've forgotten the pool is still filled.
Third, having neglected to empty the pool (or "close" it, as the chlorine veterans would say) in either a conventional or unconventional manner, now also neglect to cover it.
Fourth, continue to forget about the pool throughout one of the longest, coldest winters anyone under 20 can remember. Also, don't observe that while the ice storm brought down some large limbs, it did not overlook the dozens of small twigs available for pruning on the silver maple that partially overhangs the swimming pool. And leaves, did I mention leaves?
Fifth: as the weather begins, finally, to warm up in the spring, remember your pool. Recall the drain plug dilemma. Recollect the absence of any action to solve said dilemma. Begin to worry.
Sixth ... take a deep breath, gather buckets and rally the troops with memories of crystal clear, refreshingly cool waters in which to revel at the end of a hot summer day.
Seventh - and this is the ugly one - roll up your pant legs and jump in. Fortunately, over half of the water has evaporated during its uncovered winter. Unfortunately, that leaves you with about a foot of something reminiscent of condensed pond water. With twigs.
Eighth: bail water like you're in a sinking boat. Encourage the troops with memories of the pool at its brightest and best, and hope that it really is true that water striders don't bite, as you've been telling them.
Ninth: when the youngest trooper is clearly losing heart, allow her to leave and trim around fenceposts instead.
Tenth: know when enough is enough, even if the pool isn't emptied yet. Cheer everyone with congratulations on how far you emptied it (halfway), what good workers and how strong they all are, and that popsicles will be forthcoming.
Eleventh. Collapse on overstuffed chair and blog about it, in hopes that this season, we'll do things differently. Starting with properly aligning that drain plug ....
[p.s. for anyone who's ever wondered about the obviously nonsensical word "buretachi" in this blog's address, it is a Japanization of our last name, meaning, roughly, the Bure-people]