Niagara Dahls...

Niagara Dahls...

An ongoing War of the Dahls has raged for years in the burbs.

We have a built in pool. Before our moving boxes were empty, Steve had a bobcat in the yard, executing a blueprint created in warp speed so I would not have time to object or postpone.  It is a sturdy rectangle with a deep end and a spa. It has anchored many a family fest, and God only knows what has gone on in the hot tub. It makes my California dreamer feel like he has a little of his Beach Boys era California with him.  I grew up with a pool that my parents installed via a second mortgage to keep their kids where they could control them, and I DO have a lifetime of backyard memories. SO the pool is a joy to me, a way of celebrating the short sweetness of Summer.

Now that the boys are in Chicago zip codes, it is more of a reflecting pond. It makes the yard a peaceful oasis. My gardens do not have to be as manicured, because the pool is the star of the show.   I am not likely to be found doing laps or synchronized routines. Truth told, I have only been in the water once this summer. ( It’s on my bucket list for Summer 2011 to swim more , but then losing enough weight so that wearing a bathing suit wasn’t an act of sadism was on an earlier we’ll see)

Still, I love having it, and know it will lure my ganndchildren out to visit in my dotage, just as it sucks the boys out to the house during my pre-dotage. The dogs enjoy a wet romp, and I love to watch that.  Steve- not so much.  That is another war, for another day.

Our pool was built before the advent of razzle dazzle. There are no bridges and waterfalls. No electric cover.  No curly slide or dancing waters.  No fake palm trees. The diving board has been removed. We have added a few lights and resurfaced it, but it is still a basic pool. That bugs Steve. He would like some added features.

One upgrade he values is an auto-filler to add water every time evaporation lowers the volume. To that end, he commissioned a retro-fitted filler.  The execution of this dream involved splitting the hose at the tap, and siphoning one hose run underground to a float mechanism which would turn the water on when the levels ebbed below the skimmers.  Mind you, he dreamed this, but he had someone else install it. He is a conceptual sort.  But plumbing- not so much.

I get the handiness of this.  I am old school:I like to top the pool off manually so that I can make sure that the pool is not leaking. Because sometimes it does. For months.  I hate not knowing that until I get a $1000.00 water bill. That was a few years ago, and I used that logic to defend my ongoing position.

Earlier this year, the drain was left slightly ajar and water migrated. The back garden was a bog. The sump pumps ran continuously. I whined about a leak until a snorkel dive confirmed that debris had caused the seal to pop. I believed that the autofill would be disconnected after this Sherlock Holmes moment. I was wrong.

A stealth campaign followed. I turned the auto filler off, he turned it on. It was a foolish game. We had to hash it out.  During our Summit for Aquatic Peace, I asked him why it was so critical to have an autofill. The answer: he is from California. California is cool. California pools are always autofilled. Hoses going into pools look dumb. I, by extension, am dumb.

And you know what? I feel dumb this morning. I couldn’t sleep so I came down to read at 3:00. I dozed until I was awakened by the emphatic churning of the sump pumps below me. Another opportunity for me to use my Sherlock Holmes intuition. It does not work well at 3:00am, but eventually my brain latched on to a cause and effect.

After my beat down over the pool, Steve acquiesced and used the hose to add water yesterday. And left it on. All night. Oops.

It took me a few hours to knit together the fact that it had not rained, making sumps unnecessary.  At 4:30, I made my way to the faucet, and shut down Niagara Dahls.  The water is to the top rim, and the surplus has joined the water table and is gurgling into the sumps, (we have three…long,wet story) where it is spit out, and then it rolls back into the sump pits because the ground is so wet that nothing can be absorbed.  I am still in the family room, stewing over this, and the floor below me is shuddering with triple centrifugal force.  It is like I put a quarter in the couch. And it bought me 3 hours of action.

What have we learned here?
Set a timer if you manually fill the pool.(my take)
Use an autofill (Steve’s take)

I think we will need a few more Summit meetings to resolve our differences.

And if it rains today, as predicted, our house may be loose in its footings.


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