Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The End of the Money Pit's Money Pit!!!

Well, we finally did it!  We got rid of something deep and dark and scary!

We got rid of the swimming pool.

A swimming pool is a lovely thing!  It provides recreation in the summer!  A place to splash and play.  You can have parties!  It lends an air of sophistication and elegance to your lovely home.  Everyone wants one!  Don't they?!?

This "Swimming Pool" was no longer any of that.

It was a SNAKE PIT!  A Turtle Pond.  A Frog Swamp.  A Mosquito Hatchery.  An Eyesore.  And a Grandchild Hazard!!!

It was cracked deeply in several places.  The plumbing to it was cracked and broken deep within the earth.  The plaster was cracked and peeling.  The pump didn't' work.  The cement walkways around it were heaved up in wrong angles--causing stubbed toes or worse.

And the worst thing of all?  The entire pool area sloped back towards the foundation of the house---sending gallons of rain water--right into our basement!

THIS is the DREAM of the pool.  What it might have been like.  Sparkling Clean.  Perfectly manicured.  A glass of pink lemonade in my hand while I laze around on a floating chaise lounge...

But it was not to be.  The pool we had was not repairable.  

And for a while, we thought we would never be able to afford to have it removed.  Quotes for removal were coming in at really high numbers.  It seems that anything with the words "Swimming Pool" in the title would cost an extravagant amount.  An amount we hadn't factored in when we bought The Money Pit last year.

"WHAT HAVE WE GOTTEN OURSELVES INTO!!?"  was our repeated mental quandary.

Then we heard of a man who removed pools for far far less!  We tried to call him in the spring.  We tried to call him in the summer.  He was too busy.  Too many pools to remove.  Finally---just on the very edge of Cold Minnesota Winter---he called us back and said he had time to do our pool!

But we would have to decide quickly---because winter was upon us.  Once there was snow---he couldn't drive his equipment up and down the hills around our house.  The ground would freeze solid and he couldn't dig it out.  We had 2 days to decide---otherwise, it would be next year.  

This was our one chance to get it done.  We had that much money in the bank.  It was affordable!

We called him back that afternoon...and the very next morning, I heard a strange RRRrrr Rrrrrr sound.

I looked out the dining room window and saw this monster Tonka Toy going by....

It stopped in the backyard behind the pool.

Soon a giant dump truck joined in the fun.

Within minutes, I thought then end of the world had happened.  BOOM!!!

A giant boulder was being dropped from the basket of the excavator onto the bottom of the swimming pool!  It wasn't your typical wrecking ball---but it was wrecking things!!

BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM!!!!  It shook the house.  Fritz went into hiding.  The pictures on the walls went askew!

Over and over.  Breaking the pool cement into pieces.  Piling it out of the way.

It felt like an earthquake every few minutes.  By the end of the day, my nerves were frazzled!

In the evenings, we would go out and look at the progress.

How on earth would this giant mess EVER get cleaned up!

But it DID get cleaned up!!!  The dump truck was loaded up and driven away.  Load after load of cement boulders.

The sidewalks were pulled away from the house and stacked in great piles of concrete sheets.

Dirt was moved around.  Filled in.  Packed down.  Smoothed off!

And before I knew it---I had a BACKYARD!!  No more pit of snakes and doom!  No more danger of falling 12 feet to a concrete death!  No more eyesore!  No more anything!  Just nice smooth dirt!

Nice smooth dirt that slopes away from the house slightly---as it should---and gently down towards the lake.  Just like it was 35 years ago before a pool was ever installed.

I hadn't realized how worried I was about that empty useless pool.  I hadn't known that I was carrying anxiety over it.  But when it was gone---It felt like a heavy load had been lifted off of me!

"IT'S GONE!  IT'S REALLY GONE!" sings my heart every time I look out the window!

We spread out some grass seed the day they were done.  It will sprout in the spring and hopefully keep the dirt in place before the spring rains.

Then we moved some planks for a future garden.

And the very next day, WINTER came!  We had made it just in time!


  1. Wow Candelyn! I have wanted to put in a pool here, but reading this makes me want to re-think the whole idea! It looks like so much money - to install, to maintain, and later on to remove. Perhaps there are better things I should do with that money. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. This pool was 35 years old and hadn't received any maintenance or winterizing for years. The previous owners (not the original owners) didn't take care of it. Also, we live in Minnesota! Not Southern California. So you might do just fine with a pool! And your kids would love it! But I would look into things there and do some research.


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