There is currently in my yard a giant baron looking circle where no grass grows. It is in the very center of my lawn and looks like an abscure landing pad for a helicopter, or crop circle left behind by a spaceship. Most people would look off the back deck of the house and see an eyesore, or at the very least begin re-seeding to make it disappear, I however look at it and smile knowing the it represents the best two hundred dollars that I've ever spent... it is the mark left behind by my redneck pool.
Laugh if you will, my family, friends, and neighbors did, but they all used it when the temps began to soar, and all thanked me for the opportunity to do so. So, in an effort to help you make friends that you will wish you didn't have and see family that you don't want at your house, I will give you that piece of advice that you really shouldn't use: Get to your local supercenter or discount retailer and proudly walk to the "redneck summer supply" section. Put the box that weighs a thousand pounds, and wont fit in a regular cart into a regular cart, and wheel your way down the aisle (if you can) to the spot where you'll have to buy a pump you don't have, extra filters you'll need, chemicals you didn't budget for, and instructions you won't understand, and proceed to the checkout.
Take it all home, air it up, and start the hose running. In about a week (not really) you will have incurred the largest water bill that you've ever paid, and all for the sake of five dips in an unheated pool of water that you'll hate yourself for buying by September.
With that said, after the winter thaw, you like me, will stand anxiously with a smile, staring a cilcular path of bare earth, waiting to start the rite of passage that will insure you a lot of extra summer work, and still you wont care, because yes- when you want it- you'll have a pool.
I live in a very small town; in truth I wouldn't have it any other way. The grocery store, post office church, and bank are all in one "line of sight" street. Everyone asks if you're "old man so-and-so's" kid, or if you know of, are related to this person or that person. It's kind of cool. But small towns in NEPA have their drawbacks too.
Take for example the street that I live on: from end to end there are twelve houses, one business, and a Masonic hall, making it sparsely populated with buildings, not to mention people. Its tree lined, freshly paved, and a small creek runs through my, and my neighbor's backyards... sounds nice right?
Well consider this: for some reason at 5:55 am my neighbor to the north insists on firing up her Grand Prix and letting it idle to warm up, not so bad right? Well, the radio is tuned to a hip-hop station and is always so loud that it shakes the windows of my bed room, and almost without fail wakes so harshly that I actually sit up in bed! The major industry in town is landscaping and at 6:05 am dump trucks loaded with mulch and towing back hoes starts roaring by the front door. During the summer my neighbor to the south likes to get a jump on the grass cutting by firing up the lawnmower at 7:30 am and by noon is seated at the local pub (PS: in the winter the mower is replaced by a snow blower). After the sun sets he's usually back from the pub ,and finds himself in a war with his family, and for some unknown reason it always takes place in the middle of the street. Afterward his kids host a bi-nightly burnout competition till about 1am, and the overpopulation of dogs in town finish out the early am hours barking their reaction to it till the Grand Prix fires up setting the new day in motion.
Maybe I'm not cut out for small town living after all.
Two years ago the radio station decided to have a flea market to dispose of all the unnecessary vehicles that were no longer vital to the daily operation of our business. There were several vans, a trailer, and the crown jewel of our automotive fleet... the Froggy limo.
Originally bought as a promotional item for a defunct and long since dismissed staff member, the car is a 1978 Cadillac, retired funeral limousine, that's too old, too big, and absolutely perfect. It smells musty, has a problem with the headlights not working at night, and can't seem to keep the battery charged, but I love it! Sure I only drove it twice since I bought it, sure it only get about eight miles to the gallon, sure it's plastered with Froggy logos (and needs a muffler) but it is a perfect reminder of how great cars used to be, and reminds me of the first time I was ever in a luxury car (just exactly like it) and of how I was awestruck.
I will soon, no doubt, put it up on the auction block and relinquish the keys to a person who hopefully will restore it, and adore it as much as I do... but for now, I will mow the grass around it and smile knowing that if I wanted I could say: "Yes, as a matter of fact I do have a limousine".
I take my father to the grocery store on a weekly basis. Our pilgrimage happens with near military precision on Saturday afternoon at 1pm. Why Saturday you ask? Well with my work schedule a weekday would be either too early or too late, and on Sunday the pharmacy is closed.
The trip is always the same: we load into the car, drive to the store, we take out "the list" (he and my mother compile it during the week), we trudge up and down the aisles for the better part of two hours, we return home, we properly locate the items we've bought in their proper places, and I drink a well deserved glass of wine (of two).
Last week was a small bit different. Two thirds of the way between my parent's home and the store that we simply must shop at (that's ten miles each way), my father looks at me and asks "Do you have "the list"?"
Needless to say the day was wasted. I had to try to fill the grocery order from memory, only to have to return the following day to fulfill the balance of grocery items in the morning. I love my dad, and I always will, but like having an addiction to biochemistry or botany, it requires a lot of time, a lot of patience, and hell of a lot more training than you can possibly imagine.