It so happens that we have a house with a pool. We’ve never had one before and had no idea what to expect. An odd thing happens when you have a pool. Suddenly, people come over; and, more often than not, they bring their little ones in tow.
When we lived in the country, we had few visitors and even less little children over. Now, we’re suddenly the destination of parents. By the horde.
Adults like the pool but it doesn’t have the attraction for them that it has for children. And, if the children are poor swimmers or just out of babyhood, their passion for the watery domain knows no bounds. This is where I get worried.
I don’t know if it’s because I was once a lifeguard or because I tend to worry, but something happens to me when l see little kids kicking underwater and only the top of their head showing. I need to haul them out or give them a flotation device or jump in and stand beside them. I need to know they are safe. And breathing air.
Overall, none of the parents we’ve had share my concern. They simply trust that their offspring will emerge from under the water and take their next breath; some go so far as to turn on their cells and tune the entire scenario out. I can’t do that. In fact, their easy-going attitude freaks me out.
I wish I had a trusty Newfoundlander by my side who would happily splash into the pool and save the soggy, struggling swimmers. But I don’t. What I have are two fluffy akitas who have no idea how to swim or interest in the pool.
She’s right. They’re really cute.
Not so long ago, our air conditioner decided to stop working. It was an ancient machine that had seen many seasons so it’s demise wasn’t unexpected. Of course, our luck being what it was, this happened at the worst possible time.
It was the day that the painters were here to paint; the day that the contractor was here to figure out how to pave our driveway and the day that Mother Nature decided to give us a massive heat wave.
It was burning hot outside and it was sweltering inside.Of course, I did what I do in situations like this and panicked. I called every air-conditioning business in town. Within minutes, everyone in the vicinity had heard about our furnace-like house and there was a guy on the way with the largest air-conditioner available for human use.
He sweated his way up the driveway laughing at the heat and removed a step on our wooden stairway to access our old machine and remove it. While he was busy working and our painters were sweating their way through the job, I moved our dogs out to the shade to keep them a little cooler than inside the oven-like house.
And that’s when it happened.
I knew there was a step missing on those stairs. I knew it. Yet I stepped on the missing step as though I could walk on air…and fell down like a sack of potatoes. The paint was horrific, the blood was awful and the bruising that ensued covers one complete leg and the other hip and stops people metres away. Still, I could have broken a bone or gotten impaled; I got off lucky.
It was at that exact moment that our two fluff-balls of dogs discovered I had yet to close the gate to the backyard and off they went. Curly tails into the wind, they ran away, delighted at their newly-found freedom.
I should have stopped and given them a chance to figure out where their next meal was coming from, but never let it be said that I miss an opportunity to panic. Off I went, blood running down a leg, limping like an injured flamingo, running after them.
Don’t worry, gentle reader, the dogs are back unharmed. As soon as the air conditioner started working, they reappeared to lay down on the air vents. I gave them a serious talking to that went mostly in one ear and out the other. Filthy, tired and hot, they still looked much better than their bruised, sore owner.
Well, it was never going to be a thing of beauty and certainly the architectural tectonics were never going to win any prizes. Still, it’s finished. Done.
I did mention that my lovely hubby wanted to make a sort of dog-house/ramp, right? Well, it’s happening. Believe it or not, this…thing is now in our backyard.
It is…well, I don’t know what it is and I have doubts that my hubby does either. He’s there with a friend, nailing and cutting and laughing and building. The dogs are with them too, oblivious at the purpose of the ruckus around them.
There have been mistakes made, bandaids requested and cookies baked. The dogs are covered in saw dust and the men are exhausted. Still, construction continues.
I’m certain most of the birds in the neighbourhood are hoping this is somehow going to be a house for them. Considering the success of our previous dog houses, they might be the only ones using the thing.
Whatever it is.
Today was such a sunny, lovely day that I decided to take a little walk with my two favourite doggies. Armed with a hat for my head, doggie bags for the unmentionables and a smile for the neighbours, we took off. We usually head downtown and back but the day was so nice that I decided to take a different route and head to the water.
Getting to the water was not difficult. It’s a massive lake that seems to take over the horizon. The harder part was figuring out our way back. None of the streets looked familiar. Still, I had a sense of where our house should be and off we went.
A few wrong turns and several doggie bags later, we got home. I didn’t think it was an excessively long walk. My dogs, however, had a different view point.
Needless to say, these two are not long-distance runners.
I don’t like change. So, when we moved homes, I thought I would have a little trouble adjusting. I wasn’t prepared for my resistance to the new home. I had picked the house with my hubby after all; I should be happy to live there.
The house didn’t feel scary or weird. It just felt…strange. I didn’t see it as ours and there were nooks and crannies that I thought were not for us.
It’s been months since the move. You’d think I would have gotten used to the house by now but I’m still struggling. Certainly, there are parts that feel more homey now but there is still a lingering feeling of living in a stranger’s house.
It helps that I have added plants to most rooms. I love plants. There are some that are growing in delight and their new buds make me smile every time I see them.
It helps that our two pooches have no such issues. They run around and bounce on the ‘guest’ beds with delight leaving doggie footprints all over the fresh sheets and giving those strange rooms a touch of ‘doggie’. Most people would be rightfully upset at the mess but, I’m silly about my dogs, I love every bit of them, even their rambunctiousness.
It helps to clean the house. I have done loads of laundry, cleaned floors, moped cobwebs and dusted nooks and crannies. I even moped the walls of some rooms. Poking around like that, I have found light switches that don’t turn anything on, remotes for non-existing machines and a very nice-looking pool cue. I still have to check out the attic. I wonder what mysteries lie in that space.
Then my husband said something that made me pause. He said, maybe we should get another dog…And all silly thoughts about the house immediately flew out of my head. Instead, I dreamed a happy dream…