Best laid plans

Today is day two of backyard demolition. I had approximately ten loads of laundry to dry and that is exactly why it’s going to rain. All day. Our beloved pool, which has been a permanent fixture in our lives for nine years is gone. I loved that pool. Our daughters learned to swim in that pool. I floated around and sipped cold drinks and pretended I was in Fiji in that pool.

The metal walls that held it were rusting and not too long ago, one of them gave way. We fixed it, for the moment, as we had when things went wrong, but a few days ago my husband noticed the bottom buckling in other spots. It was time.

I hate being the one to call things like that. We had recently insulated the entire thing and bought a new liner and replaced things that had needed replacing. We added decking all around it and it felt in some way like a glittering sapphire in the middle of our own back yard.

My husband briefly suggested it was time for a ‘real pool’, something permanent; with concrete all around and no yard maintenance. But that would mean scraping away years of landscaping; trees we grew from sticks that had blossomed into canopy makers. That just wouldn’t work. I have said it in the past and I mean it just as much now; every plant back there is a rising love letter of hard work, determination and togetherness for our family. I remember every hole that was dug, dragging every tree to the back yard, all the watering all the dreaming and all the enjoying. I like seeing the earth. I like feeling like we have carved out our own rainforest – that to me is paradise.

We demolished the walls and in heavy footed trudges I marched them to the end of our driveway. Some pieces have already been scavenged for scrap and others will have to wait indignantly bare until they are scooped up with the bulk trash later this week. I am not even going to pretend that I don’t feel a little bit guilty discarding chunks of concrete that I prayed to for reinforcement only a few months ago.

Waiting to finish something that already feels like a loss is harder than working in tandem with the momentum I built up in order to see the project completed. Yet that is what I am doing. In the next few days, it will all be scraped away and we will roll out sod to cover the scar. Slowly we will set about sketching out and pricing, then painting and installing decking and bench seating.

I already picture days spent reading in the sunshine or on a seat under the cover of palms and sea grapes. I see nights spent under the stars with sleeping bags rolled out while the gardenias are in full bloom and the breeze winds its way through the palm fronds. I am thankful for every moment spent in that water and for all the good times we had together in it and I am grateful that I know enough to end it with gratitude and look forward to the next chapter of the backyard. Maybe a tree would help…



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