By Ernie Fowler – Nashville CHSD #99
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I want to first of all wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope we all take a minute from stuffing our faces to reflect on all that we should be thankful for. There are plenty of things that we have for which we ought to give thanks. There are times when we can be thankful for something we don’t have.
Years ago I stepped out and bought an above-ground swimming pool. My heart was filled with joy on the day the company showed up to begin installation. More happiness ensued when the contractor showed up to begin work on the deck that encompassed the luxury. The pool gave me a greater appreciation for chemistry as I had to learn practical things such as ph balance, chlorination, and acidity levels. I got to use test tubes and color sticks. I got to mix chemicals to make sure the swimming experience was fun and healthy. Ah, the wonders of being a new pool owner. Yep, the Fowlers had finally stepped up in the world. Our pool and deck was bigger than our neighbors. We no longer had to be subjected to the mockery that came from the laughter and music next door as the family frolicked to splashing and music while we chased each other around with a water hose and squirt guns.
It is amazing how something once loved can turn into a source of hatred. Once the newness of the pool wore off, my kids quit fighting each other as to who “gets to” clean the pool. I became the sucker who had to clean it. The kids no longer were interested in the challenges posed by covering the pool when swimming season was over. Likewise, they were no longer interested in helping to carefully remove the tarp when it was time to open the pool. It was good ole dad who got to deal with a dead cat who went exploring a little too close to the water. It was dad who was called each time the pump started making “funny sucking sounds” and it was dad who got to drop down under the deck to explore what was going wrong. It was dad who got to go to the pool shop and plunk down money for chemicals. As I stood looking outside the window at the very thing that would bring me a tanned bod and hours of mirth and merriment my view changed to visions of me swinging a sledgehammer and laughing as I watched the last board of the deck and droplet of water sink into the ground.
Indeed, two of the best days of my life were the day the pool went in and the day the pool came down. Today, I am thankful for not having a swimming pool.
I’ve achieved peace in knowing that I survived the days of being a pool owner.
Now, my wife is determined to drive me back to those dreaded days. She has an accomplice in a seven year old asking …..”can we get a pool?”.
I’m thankful that I wasn’t driven to insanity. I believe my wife is thankful because she knows of a way she can get me there! Splish splash!!