Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Swimming Pool

I give up. (Y'know, I think we finally gave up on the real pool about 4 months ago.) After some frustration at the beach, culminating in the shocking [to me] events of last week, we decided maybe we really did need a pool in the yard. We reasoned that the kids needed more exercise than I can manage to get them to do. We needed fun exercise that was easily available. And we needed cool exercise for these two who get SO hot and uncomfortable.

It's the time of year when pools go on clearance. We found one of those large pools that is soft-sided, with a big blue inflatable donut that floats on top of the water and holds up the sides. To me, it essentially seemed like an oversized kiddie pool, with a filter. We were willing to use it for 5-6 weeks yet this summer, take it down, and set it up again next year. And it's cheaper to purchase now than later.

But once we opened the box and took out the instructions, we found some surprises. The pool has to be on level ground. Well, duh, I knew that. But they mean REALLY level. Like, so level that if you start putting water in it, and get an inch of water in one spot while another spot is still dry, you have to take down the pool, level the ground better, and start over. Hey, this is kettle-moraine area, and we ain't got no place to put a pool that's 15' diameter! Okay, well, maybe we can fudge a bit. And maybe we could move some sand and dirt to make things a bit more level. There are two spots in the yard that are kinda sorta close to being quasi-level. But then we continued to read the instructions.

Can't put it under power lines. Shoot, one of our places is under power lines. It must be 10-21 feet away from a grounded electrical outlet. Nope; we'd need an extension cord for either of those two places. What if we fudged and used an extension cord? Well, after doing some internet research, that didn't sound so good.

And then there's the chemicals and the daily cleaning. And the tarp we'd have to buy to go under the pool, and the solar blanket to go on top of the pool, and the electricity to run the filter. Overall, it just seemed like there were a lot of things to consider that should've been listed on the outside of the box instead of hidden in the set-up directions inside the box.

So the pool is boxed back up. And I'm hoping that the store will take it back and refund our money. And now I have to figure out what other options I have for taking kids swimming. Ron (the sweet guy from church that I met at the grocery store last week after being at the beach) told me tonight where there's a really nice beach. It's further away, and there's a daily charge to get into the park and to get into the beach too. But at least it's a possibility.

Bummers. I thought I'd figured out the solution to something. But after a week of puzzling and problem-solving, I'm right back to where I started with the problem.


  1. When the lady at the pool store told me a pool is a big expense and a lot to work -and she is the one selling them - I figured she must know what she was talking about.

  2. We thought about getting one of those pools, too....we ran into some of the same concerns...we have nice power lines to the back of the house. :( How about a trampoline? We stick a sprinkler under it and the kids just jump while staying cool. Easy set up and you can leave it up over winter, if you want to, or just take the fabric portion off the metal. Just a thought.

    Have you checked out Car-Max at all? (That would be for a car, not a pool.)


  3. Laura, I have a question for you and Cheryl about Car-Max.