WHEN we purchased Bray Manor, I noted the above-ground pool in the backyard and muttered, "Well, that'll have to go."
Wrong. Apparently, the pool was staying and I was looking after it.
In the shed, I found a smouldering box full of pool chemicals, along with some handwritten notes and a thick pair of rubber gloves peppered with holes.
As per the notes, I mixed up a brew in a bucket and tossed it into the pool. A few days later I dropped into the pool shop with a water sample. After reading the results twice, the pool lady cried out, "Dear God. I hope no one's been swimming in this water."
With rising panic I admitted to having had a quick dip that morning. She inspected me very closely for a few moments, then quickly loaded up the counter with bottles of liquids, packets of powders and a Poisons Information Hotline fridge magnet.
With an empty wallet and a boot full of toxic chemicals, I drove slowly home with the windows down, trying to avoid the sort of explosive accident that would make news broadcasts around the world.
After a week, and many more visits to the pool shop, our pool had become slightly less toxic than a Fukushima fishpond. Even better, my skin and hair had started growing back again.
Since then, maintaining my pool's water quality has become something of an obsession. And now summer's here, the kids have started pestering me to swim in it, so I've been driving them to the town pool. Let them mess up someone else's pH balance.
One day they'll come to appreciate my pool like I do, without actually having to get in the water.
Greg Bray blogs at gregbraywriter.wordpress.com. Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.
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