Like any certified silver spooner I have a swimming pool in my yard. This was a gift from my grandfather Jerry Wadsworth to my mother on the occasion of her purchase of Hartford House from her Aunt Eleanor in 1975. Sometimes I think it was a curse put on me by my grandfather!
Things went fine until I actually assumed ownership of the property upon my father’s death in 2001. Since the maintenance responsibilities have fallen on me, however, the pool seems to have gone into a death spiral.
The last two years in particular have been a constant battle with encroaching green algae. Last year I returned from vacation to find the pool had turned into something that resembled split pea soup.
After having already poured hundreds of dollars of chemicals into the pool I decided the best course was to drain it and start over with fresh water. While it was empty I climbed in with a high pressure washer and blasted the algae off the walls. Within two weeks the pool was green again!
This year I’ve managed to fight the algae to a stand-off. It clings hopefully to the side walls waiting for any momentary lapse in pool chemistry, or my next vacation, to take over. Fortunately, my campaign for supervisor doesn’t allow for any extended vacations, at least before August 4th!
In order to keep this uneasy peace, however, I am required to spend almost every morning vacuuming my little green friends off the pool floor. This is a job that I have been totally unsuccessful at delegating.
It seems the mechanics of a pool vacuum are more complicated than a space shuttle, and no one but me seems to be able to get the darn thing to work. The positive side of this, however, is that it does allow me time to think in the morning while I’m doing this mindless task.
It was while vacuuming the pool this morning that I came up with this great idea for a column on pool vacuuming. I know its not much, but tomorrow is the 4th of July!
Every pool owner that I have told this story to thinks I must be a complete idiot. According to them, you just throw the chemicals in and the bad guys go away.
It just doesn’t work that way for me. I’m beginning to think that I must have some kind of mutant, chlorine-resistant strain of algae, or else a bad case of the Wadsworth Curse. Have a happy!