Thursday, September 27, 2007

Easy as 1-2-3

This week we said good bye to our beloved above ground pool. We were only here three summers to enjoy it, but the pool was too old to go another year. After a lot of back breaking work, it is gone and laying in sad pieces in the front yard, waiting to be picked up by the trash guys.

Well, a year ago, I was looking through a pool supply magazine that we got in the mail. They had liners for above ground pools for sale. They advertised that switching from an old liner to an new liner was as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Remove old lining - the picture showed a man happily removing lining from his pool. He was merely lifting it out. (we had to drag ours out and it took two adults and two kids to do it)

2. Install new lining - the picture showed the same man happily fitting the new lining over the pool's side

3. Fill the pool with water and enjoy. We see the man and his family splashing about happily in the pool with the new lining.

OK, let me tell you what it took to, ahem, "simply" remove the lining from the pool. First, you must remove about 40 bolts that old the top of the pool on. Two bolts per joint and there were probably 20 joints. After you remove the joints, there are 2-4 screws that hold on the rim and two more screws that hold on some other part that was under each joint. I have no idea what all the names for the various parts are. Anyway. After about 100 screws, bolts and washers were removed, we could take off the rim in sections, about 20 sections. This being spider season, each section had at least one web with a mother spider, two or three egg sacks and usually one of them had opened with 50 microscopic infant spiders with her. My skin crawls just to think back to it. OK, so, we get the sections off, then comes the rubber bits that hold the liner in place over the rim of the pool. By the time we got all of these things off and we could actually get to the liner, the pool sides were sagging.

We then removed the liner. It unfortunatly had a few inches of water still in it. Our pump quit working and we couldn't remove all the water. Now, because we were taking the pool apart, we opened up the side of the pool. My hubby got to use his saws-all and cut us a opening in the side. (he enjoyed that) My husband, my two sons and I grabbed on end of the liner and will all our might, we pulled that liner out of the pool. It was huge and heavy.

I can't imagine what it would be like to put in a new liner. Even if we had succeded in getting the liner out without cutting an opening in the side of the pool, the sides were all sagging in. How in the world do you put on a new liner on a pool who's sides are sagging everywhere? All I know, is that I never want to put a new liner in an above ground pool. Nor do I ever want to set up an above ground pool. Aside from the blow up kiddy pools we will be using in the future, if we ever get a family pool again, it will be in-ground!

So, through this entire experience, we laughed about the "It's as easy as 1-2-3" bit we saw in the magazine. Now it is becoming our joke family motto. (Our real family motto is "it never rains, but it pours", but that is another story) So, today, when the kids were acting up, my hubby said, "raising kids is as easy as 1-2-3! First, have the kid, second, raise the kid, third, send the kid out into the world" Yep, 1-2-3.

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