Don't the people in this photo look like they are having so much fun? We thought so. Then we asked ourselves, "Is it possible we could have that much fun in it?" The answer is "yes!"
Please understand, it gets really hot where we live. I mean stinking hot. Basically, you can't go outside unless it's to go from your air-conditioned house, to your air-conditioned car, to the air-conditioned store, etc. From October to May, my kids play happily outdoors.... so content and getting along so well. Come June, when it's too hot to play outside, they drive each other crazy (and me) with the teasing, fighting, pestering, etc. We go stir crazy staying inside, and there is a limit to the amount of time you can spend hanging out in the nice, cool library or mall without going insane. So, if you want to survive, either your kids watch a lot of TV and DVD's, or you hang out in the pool.
I truly despise public pools. We have nice ones all over the place, with fun water slides and everything. But you have to actually GO there, and hang out there, with the other poor people who don' t have their own swimming pool. Ugh.
My in-laws used to have a large, beautiful pool, which they never used (and they were rarely at home). Since they lived only 2 miles from us, it was perfect... we could go any time without bothering anyone. It was lovely.
Then, they moved.... to a new house, further away, sans pool. Uh oh. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of kind people who offer to have us over to swim. They say, "You can come swim at our house any time!" I really appreciate it, but in reality, it doesn't happen very often. People who have their own pool hop into it whenever they fancy. Do they really expect us to do the same? I don't think so.
We barely survived last summer with a handful of invitations. I knew I couldn't take another summer like that one. I was feeling desperate to have our own swimming pool, and yet by no means do I want to spend 10's of thousands of dollars and give up half my yard (which we use 9 months out of the year), and redo the landscaping after the construction crew destroys it, for something we will use 3-4 months out of the year.
Then Jay suggested the unthinkable.... the "above-ground pool." I know, I know.... in other parts of the country they are quite common. But not here. I always thought it was weird and kind of "white trash."
But now I'm quite convinced this is the way to go. For $200 (thank you Wal-Mart) we got a 16 foot round pool, with a ladder, pump with filter, leaf/debris skimmer and vacuum, and cover. It was a cinch to set up. We filled it with water, added some chlorine, and we had a blast in it yesterday! My kids are absolutely beside themselves with joy. And I am so relieved.
The best part is, in a couple of months, we can pack it up and put it in the shed, and reclaim our yard for another lovely AZ winter. Perfect.
So, all you poor souls who don't have a swimming pool at your house, you are welcome to come swim in ours anytime. And if that isn't convenient for you, and you have $200 to spare, stop by your local Super Wal-Mart and pick up one of these.