Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sunlight on Water

When we lived on the mainland we had a big pool in the front yard. It was one of those round soft-walled pools, where the walls are held up because of the water, with an inflatable ring around the top. It sat out on the front concrete pad (the previous owner had concreted over the entire front yard, if you can believe it), soaking up the sun and providing a place for the kids to play all afternoon. I'd sit outside, under a canopy of sunflowers, and watch the kids splash about in the glittering sunlight.

Then we moved. Down the road. To a place where the yard was shady. So shady the pool never really worked. It was always cool, here in this not-very-hot-in-the-summer place. So we stuck it back in its box. And gradually the kids forgot how fun it had been. Well, they almost forgot.

Then we moved to an island. A big island. Now we live in a house that we own, so technically we can do what we want with the back yard. As in: cut down shade-producing trees, level sloping lawns, and build terraces for things that need level ground. Which would lead you to think that we would have that pool back up in a nano-second. But we haven't. "This yard is too slopey," Richard someone always said, in response to my "Why can't we level a part of the yard for the pool?" whine. "It would never work."

Well, a couple of weeks ago I'd had it with that conversation. It was hot. It had been hot all week. And I was sick of having to drive somewhere to swim. We were spending way too much time away from the other things I had to do and it was starting to show in both the house and the garden. Someone never had any clean underwear, but I'm not naming names. Let's just say they are on the edge of puberty and have yet to master the concept of getting their dirty laundry into the laundry basket. And the garden was getting weedy. I won't even go into what was going on in the house, not because I am ashamed, but because even I was starting to notice what a pigsty it was getting, and that takes some doing, housekeeping being very low on my list of priorities. Then there was the fact that there was never any bread for Richard's lunch. Because I was never home to make any. I hate buying it, too, so that was kind of standing in my way when I was in a grocery store. I'd stand there, gazing at the $4.00 loaves of my particular preference, and think "What a $#*&ing ripoff, I'm not paying that for a stupid loaf of bread. I'll make some tomorrow." So Richard never seemed to have any bread for his lunch each day, and was reduced to watching me scrounge for odds and ends in the freezer. He'd never say anything but this is a man who has mastered the art of the Silent Narrative: He doesn't need to say anything. He'd make a perfectly pathetic sandwich each morning out of some old hamburger bun or something, and we'd both gaze at it as he handed me my morning latté.

I would think "PutinthatdamnpoolandIcanstayhomeandmakesomedamnbread" and he'd think "I married SUCH an unreasonable woman."

As you can no doubt guess, all these things were building up. As far as I was concerned, putting a pool in the backyard was a perfectly doable option. So, in the interests of keeping No Underwear Boy and Pathetic Sandwich Man appeased, I hauled the pool outside and started chopping at the lawn with a shovel on day.

Rather ineffectually, I should probably add.

So ineffectually that Richard came home from work that night, watched me for a few minutes, sighed heavily, and went back inside for the pick-axe. There might have been a brief and very intense argument in between those two scenes that scarred Richard dreadfully (or so he says, but he's always been a bit, err, melodramatic), but that's beside the point.

The point is, we now have the pool up in the back yard. The offspring can frolic for as long as they like now. And I don't have to drive them anywhere.

Today I even did the laundry. And made bread. Heck, I even mopped the kitchen floor, although that was probably going overboard. I don't want them all thinking that I can whip this stuff off in my sleep or anything.


Samantha said...

Dear Sheila, I am so glad I don't drink beverages while reading your posts! I'm sorry for laughing at poor Richard trying to make a sandwich with no bread.

I mopped a floor today too. Great minds think alike ;-)

sheila said...

I bet my floor was dirtier than your floor. Mine was almost toxic. No one will eat anything that drops on it anymore, sad to say.

Richard doesn't actually think that he married an unreasonable woman, he tells me, no, instead he thinks "I married an irrational woman." So harumph, he deserves all those crappy pieces of bread.

Samantha said...

Hmm, I wonder what word my husband would use to describe me? This could be a fun (and slightly dangerous) game ;-)

My floor was quite dirty. My kitchen floor needs a wash as well, but it's hard to be motivated to give it a good clean when we are in and out of the garden and constantly eating watermelon and other sticky fruit. I usually save the good cleaning for when I need to baste a quilt ;-)

shaun said...

I know I'm the "irrational one" in our marriage -- possibly the only relationship I've ever had where I am cast in that role. At least it has the virtue of novelty?

And you made bread -- that ought to ease all hard feelings for a long time to come. (Because what could be more rational than passionate feelings about bread?)

No, seriously.

Kez said...

Love the post :) I'm glad you now have the pool!

sheila said...

Kez, you have possibly the best name ever Ptolemy). Are you related by some amazingly remote chance?

Nice newspaper article, by the by. Good for you!

Kez said...

Related to the Ancient Egyptian Ptolemys? I don't think so unfortunately.. We haven't been able to trace it back more than a couple of generations, but there are quite a few Ptolemys in Scotland, so we suspect a scotsman came out here to Australia! All the Ptolemys in Australia are related to each other in one way or other!