A Pool of Friends

Last Friday one of my DH’s friends drove up from Oregon and he brought his charming son and tractor along for a hard day of working in our jungle of a yard.  While here they tore out the creeping, crawling blackberry patch,

 leveled some ground out near the house, pulled out fence posts that edged the old garden, graded the old garden so grass could be planted and they dug out a place for our new (new to us, but bought used off of eBay) pool. 

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, they used their pick up truck to haul in several loads of gravel for the pool site.  At one point they let A2 have a go on the tractor.  They are both so very kind and generous.  Food and gas (okay, technically diesel) money are all that they would accept, but I’ve promised them my DH to use and abuse at their discretion in the future.

On Friday evening and Saturday morning my DH and I leveled the 6 inch bed of pea gravel and made a few more preparations for the pool.


Mid-day on Saturday we drove down to Milwaukie, OR to pick up the pool (which the sellers assured us was in “Good” shape).  It turns out that the sellers of the pool only lived a few blocks from Roxanna, so we swung by her house.  She’d told us before that she had a knitting soiree and wouldn’t be home until later, but on the off-chance we stopped anyway. 

She was gone, but her delightful husband was home.  He wasn’t quite sure who we were at first, but when I mentioned that Roxanna had made my DH a patriotic Willie Warmer everything clicked into place and he was able to place the strangers in his house with Roxie’s stories. Roxie’s DH and my DH hit it right off.  Both play World of Warcraft, live with fiber-crazed women and both spent years in the military (although mine is still in).  I think twin play-dates would work splendidly!  While we were there invading his privacy he called Roxanna, who instructed him to get something from their room that she wanted us to have.  He returned with a mysterious, wide, flat folder.  Inside was a stack of delightful prints depicting animals exhibiting each letter of the alphabet with amazing alliterations!


The bright, busy illustrations are delightful. How delightful?  Well, a copy of “Eight Enormous Elephants Expertly Eating Easter Eggs” inspired Cindy to decorate her entire bathroom around her copy of the print.


Thank you very much for the art!  I’m not sure where we will hang these yet, but the whole family has enjoyed looking through them. Each time something different is spotted.  I’m sorry that we missed you Roxie. This just means that we need to plan another trip down or you guys can come up.  There’s a little tea house here that I’d love to try out.

My Dh and I spent the duration of Saturday bleaching and scrubbing the slugs, grime and storage goo out of the pool.  We opted to save cleaning the outside until it was filled.  It’s much easier when someone doesn’t have to struggle to hold up the heavy vinyl. When we started to fill it we found a few holes. Quite honestly, we expected one or two.


Sunday morning my dear friend, Carmen, called to say that she and Julie were going to drive down for a visit!  I love Carmen and Julie!  Carmen and I have known each other practically forever. Our mothers went to school together in the same small town where we grew up. Carmen and Julie now live in Olympia, which isn’t that far away, but I seldom drive outside of a 30 mile radius because I tend to forget where I’m going, so I’ve not been to their place in years. Carmen’s mom recently passed away after battling cancer and her dad lives in Idaho, so she’s been spending as much time as possible with him.  That and the fact that Julie works like a beast and Carmen owns and operates a spa in Tacoma mean that they too are constantly on the go.  Anyway, this was their first visit down since we moved here and I’m still all kinds of excited over seeing them in person .  When they got close I walked to the girls’ bus stop to wave them into the neighborhood.   I tried to do my best Dukes of Hazard leap into their car, but my fat arse crammed into screamingly tight pants didn’t cooperate very well.  In the end I kind of crawled over the door into Julie’s lap to drive the last block to our house.  Julie’s a very good sport.

While here they were “entertained” by the girls, assisted with pool set up and were all around good sports when dealing with our loudness.  At one point just the three of us darted out to leave my DH and the girls (in the midst of sorting out a battle about ‘misplaced’ glasses) to their devices so I could show them around Ridgefield.  Carmen took lots of mountain pictures (Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood are all visible from some of the more affluent neighborhoods). 

We also drove out to Battle Ground to see our mutual friend, Ellen.  I worked with Ellen years ago at a restaurant in Grayland.  I’d no idea that she was only a few miles away!  After a nice visit with Ellen and her husband we loaded back up into the van and went to pick up dinner.  They treated us to more pizza than even my horde could devour.  By this time the pool was mostly ready for swimming.  My DH had sent the girls to their rooms over the misplaced glasses, but nobody confessed to the crime.  He finally gave up on holding out for someone to come forward and agreed to let them swim.

The outside of the pool still needs to be washed and even after finding and patching 7 different leaks spread throughout the air ring and pool walls, we still have air leaking from the ring someplace.  The seller’s definition of  “good” condition varies greatly from my interpretation.  I’ve no idea how the girls (our three plus an inquisitive neighbor) could stand being in the frigid water.  

Carmen (whom I’ve discovered is quite crafty and managed to avoid appearing in any pictures) and Julie stayed until sometime after 9:00, but they had a long drive back home and Julie had to work this morning.  I also discovered that the two of them gave A1 an exorbitant amount of cash for her cheerleading uniform.  I’d no idea how much Julie handed her until this morning.  Holy crap guys, thank you, but that really is way too much.  She (A1) was quite reluctant to take it out of her bra to put into the CLU fund.  I think she should come up and be your personal little slave to work some of it off.

I know this was a long post, but considering how dear and wonderful all of our friends are, it really should be longer.  All of the riches of world pale in comparison to time spent with good people. 

p.s., I stole a picture of Carmen from her FB page.

 So ha Miss Smarty Pants!



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3 responses to “A Pool of Friends

  1. knitwonpurltoo

    Your own Animalia prints! How cool! And, what a wonderful wonderful weekend, girl. Sounds like a fabulous time with great friends.

  2. Roxie

    “All the riches in the world pale in comparison to time spent with friends.” Amen to that, sister!

    The prints are laminated. Yuo could use them as placemats.

  3. Karen O

    What a fabulous day! I Love Animalia! I think we have the book somewhere. Hugs to all and have fun in your new-to-you pool!

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