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The Collapse of a Summer Empire

As a parent of five, a swimming pool in the backyard made so much sense. It would be an ideal solution to any potential boredom and provide the kids with an outdoor activity during the summer months. Definitely beats the idea of them sitting on the couch with a game controller in their grasp and eyes glued to the television.

So, in 2001 we installed a 24ft round above ground pool, much to everyone's delight. She was a beauty! Large enough for our troops with plenty of room for other family and friends to join in. Little did we know how beloved she would become.

People would travel from far off places to share in our summer rituals, leaving with memories and stories to tell.

We designed the entire backyard around the pool, laying down enough sand to appease the beach lover in all of us, a fire pit for the pyros, a ten-foot wide projection screen for the movie buffs, and a bar (needs no explanation) that rivals no other. Over the years, the pool has seen a broken toe, noodle wars, team sports’ celebrations, luaus that continued until sunrise, lazy afternoon floating and even skinny dipping. For all the enjoyment and great times had by everyone, sadly, it is no more.

A few years back, we found a bullet hole in the side of our pool with the bullet resting at the bottom, underwater. Thankfully, the damage did not mean the demise of our water days. My husband was able to patch up the hole inside and out, so we could continue our summer empire reign. To this day we have no idea who the perpetrator was or how our pool was shot. Considering we are not gun owners, safe to say it was not one of us.

Even though the tough old pool survived many years of use and even being shot, age finally took her down. As I stood outside yesterday dumping rainwater from our porch canopy, I heard a snap and proceeded to watch our pool drain every last drop of water onto our backyard oasis. It was as if she was exhaling a sigh of relief, as if her job here was done, she was tired and ready to pass down the tiki torch. My heart was breaking as I knew there was nothing I could do to prevent the thousands of gallons of water from surging through the bending frame. In an instant, the wall burst open, and all was over.

After calling my husband home to help survey the damage and crying a few tears, I realized there was only one thing to do. We must have a "say goodbye to the pool" party. Why not? In celebration of the many years we have had together, we will gather our friends one final time this season to help us dismantle the pool. Only then will we begin our search for her replacement. The summer empire may have collapsed in mere minutes, but no worries, a new pool shall rise and reign once more!

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