I recall the very feeling of excitement when I saw that my father had put up the awnings on the windows, and the patio furniture was set up, and had their giant green flowered plastic cushions on them. My mother had made a pitcher of her fantastical sweet tea, in the amber colored pitcher reserved only for iced tea. There was even cut up lemon slices floating in it. A new spring outfit for school was laid out on my bed. The drawers in my room, the very drawers that are now in my Charlotte's room, were filled with shorts, and t-shirts. Turtle necks and corduroys put away until next year.
And the best, most spectacular part, was the pool.
We had an above ground swimming pool. It was tiny. We referred to it as the "tuna can". I adored it. It was small enough that it could be filled up with the garden hose in almost a day. My Dad would empty it out every year. The swampy green water would run down the street, and my Dad would put on his fireman boots, and get in the pool, and scrub it with bleach. Then he would refill it, and begin working on the filter.
The filter was in bad shape. It had holes in all of the tubes. My Dad, and I say this with the utmost respect, love, and adoration for him, because he was and is an amazing man, father, husband, friend, and good at so many things, but fixing things around the house...not good at all. Duct tape and a hammer were the only tools that were in our garage. Maybe a screwdriver. He wasn't the handiest man. Not like Mr. Serie down the street. He had a whole workshop in his basement. He had tools that went back on to peg boards, that had an outline for that specific tool. He had saws that I have only seen in my junior high shop class.
OK...the filter. The filter had lot's of duct tape patching the holes in the tubes. And the tubes were held on by these metal round thingies, that tightened. I am sure they have a name, but there were lots of those. And there was some sort of plastic string wrapped tightly around the areas that had breaches. Basically, when the filter ran, it looked like a fountain. I thought that was how they were supposed to look. It wasted a lot of water. So much, that every few days, the garden hose was dragged over, put in the pool, held in place by a brick on the aluminum side of the tuna can, and brought back to the proper water level.
This constant cycle rendered the pool FREEZING, all of the time. If you went into the pool slowly, it took your breath away. And if you jumped off the ladder, you went into immediate shock. Your head pounded, and after an hour or so in the pool, your lips turned blue. I loved that pool. And I loved opening day, and the iced tea, and the new outfit, and even the red striped awnings. It was sweet Spring, signaling the imminent arrival of summer, and many days of hypothermia in the tuna can. It made me feel safe, and loved. It was and is, still such a vivid happy memory of a pretty great childhood, that my parents tried to give us.
David, my husband, and father to our three amazing little girls is a lot of things. He is funny. He is so very intelligent. He is loving, and warm. He has the greatest. dimples. ever. He helps around the house, and even does dishes, and folds laundry. He is involved in every facet of the girls lives, and is all of our biggest fans. We all adore him.
Two things he is not. A good dancer (sadly) and a handy man. He tried to fix something in our house last week. I will not go into detail what it was, to spare him from further embarrassment, but lets just say that a repairman had to be called in to undo what was done. And we did not have the money to call in this repairman. And after hours of googling things on the computer to try and repair this "problem", a phone call was placed. By David, to my Dad. And thankfully, with the help of my fathers Visa, and $169.00 later, because it was on a Saturday evening, and the part was $20.00...problem fixed.
And wouldn't you know how ironic I thought that all was. One great"handyman" helping another. Two beautiful men, trying to make it all OK. Making our home, safe, and warm. I never felt so loved.
I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.