Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If It’s Broke, Don’t Fix It

If we go a month in our house without something major breaking, it’s big news. You might recall the plagues we endured in just the first few weeks of moving in. But, wouldn’t you know it, nothing too serious has gone wrong in 2011 – until now.

I guess we were overdue because, let me tell ya, this one’s a biggie. It started with a minor fix – over the winter the pool filter broke and the whole thing got a little pond-like in terms of the cleanliness of its appearance. But once that was resolved we quickly learned that it was all due to a larger problem – the pool itself has sprung a leak.

Now don’t you go thinking we’ve got an inflatable child-size pool sitting on our lawn, or even some weak above-ground monstrosity. Nope, we’ve got a full-blown, nicely sized, comes complete with a built-in spill-over Jacuzzi, in-ground beauty. Or, rather, it used to be a beauty (or so we assume) … back when it was installed in the mid-80s. Now it’s a little worse looking for the wear, with dated tile and an eroding brown pool bottom, and the hot tub hasn’t actually heated up in years (so despite our penchant for calling it our “hot tub time machine” it is, in fact, more of a lukewarm bubble making machine). And, sure, we planned to fix it … eventually. But it was still fine to swim in and so we let it be. After all, when you’ve got as much broken stuff as we do you have to prioritize. And just because something’s broke, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to fix it. It all depends on how broke it is in relation to the other things that are also broken.

But this leak … well, it offers us yet another reason to take action. Yes, we got it plugged. And that will hold us over for a little bit. But, to be honest, the whole operation is a little dangerous as it is. Want to turn on the filter or pool lights? Well, that involves very delicately flipping this rusty switch (which at nighttime is not illuminated for easy viewing) that is dangerously close to some dangling, exposed wires (actually, my fiancé is convinced that the husband of the house’s previous owner died by electrocution when he accidentally touched those wires. Of course he has no evidence to support this theory other than a dire warning to “please, please be careful” that was given to him by the “widow” – and, if I might add, I don’t even think she’s a widow, just an older lady who got divorced. However, we do know that the previous owner’s pet bulldog drowned in the pool, which is enough bad mojo to justify an overhaul right there … and it also explains why our pups stay far away from the water). And, getting the jets in the spa going is no easy task either. When I tried to turn the correct bubble-inducing dials one time last summer I made a small mistake that resulted in the entire contents of the hot tub shooting high into the air at great force – think of it as Old Faithful erupting in my backyard. Basically, to sum it up, the pool is a mess. And we can only put off fixing it for so much longer.

See now, a year ago we were living in a wonderful, low maintenance, brand new, built from scratch just for me, townhouse. And while GAR provided many reasons for wanting to move – proximity to his workplace, higher gas prices, the need for more space for an in-home office, privacy, etc. – his real reason for wanting to move could be summed up pretty succinctly: He wanted a pool. Not just A pool, but his own personal pool that he could swim in everyday without the threat of being whacked in the head by children clamoring all around with blow-up arm floaties and giant foam noodle play toys. And now that he has it, he wants to use it. So I can argue my point (which is basically the money for this vs. money for other things, such as a wedding and honeymoon, and how the combination of all such expenditures is harrowing) but, chances are, I’m not going to win this battle. The need is there and I can’t deny it anymore. All I can do is look at tile samples and colored pool finishes (oooh, this one is just like having real sand in your pool!) and throw in my two cents (which, oddly enough, is about all I’ve got left in my bank account now anyway) and be happy that it will be done in time to enjoy it this summer.

But this is breaking my strict “If it’s broke, don’t fix it” rule and something else is going to have to give. My car, which has been running on fumes and has been completely devoid of air conditioning for more than 3 years now, was the next “broken” item I was going to resolve. But it looks like I’ll be enjoying my fourth hot Florida summer without AC instead. But, hey, at least when I get home from work dripping with sweat from driving 30 minutes in a car that’s been baking on the pavement in my office parking lot all day at least I’ll have something to cool off in – my newly refinished pool!

Here's some photos we took of the pool when we moved in last year. This is as good as it gets folks.

And here is the (now unheated) hot tub time machine. I travel back in time every time I look at it.

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