Autumn Decisions


As the first day of fall officially hit us this week, I am in a bit of shock. Everything is still green and the afternoons are downright hot. We finally made the decision to drain the pool and get it put up for the winter only to have the next three days turn out so hot we wished that we could take a refreshing dip. I watered the flowers instead and got bit by two ants.

I have some old rubber flip flops that I wear when I water and when I get too hot, I let the water run down my calves and onto my feet. It is almost as refreshing as taking a dip in our pool and it is a heck of a lot easier. The hose is a simple matter. I turn it on and water runs out. The swimming pool is not so simple.

We have a large above ground swimming pool which is up to my neck when full of water. Each summer we faithfully drag it out, clean it off, and fill it up. The kids and I usually end up running in circles to make cyclones. I guess a clever person could make the observation that an above-ground pool is much like life. We climb in and start running in circles. If you go the wrong way, the current knocks you down or someone splashes water up your nose.

Unlike life, where we don’t have much of a choice to join or not, swimming is a big decision for some. For the young and unimpaired, the pool can be accessed easily several times a day. For those with shaky knees and ankles, the pool is a decision which needs to be thoroughly thought over. The decision is not about the timing or the bugs ceaselessly swimming on top, but rather the decision involves how one actually gets INTO the pool.

Above-ground pools necessitate a ladder, climbing gear, or a risky way of approaching the five foot sides. Some of our long-legged children have the ability to take a flying leap and soar over the side into the water. Others have bounced from the trampoline directly into the water but my only avenue of access is up and over the large A-shaped ladder. One side is on the outside and the other is on the inside. The kids scamper up and down it like flies to honey.

For me to swim is a major climbing decision. The first step is relatively stable but by the time I am on the third step the ladder begins to shake. If I pull too hard on the outside, to help lift myself, the inside pulls out of the water and I am stuck on the third step see-sawing back and forth until the legs of the ladder settle again on the inside. The fourth step and things get really shaky.


Not only am I five feet in the air on a thin tubular device but all of the neighbors get a free show. Our yard is on an incline and the pool can be seen from the street. So when I gingerly step over the middle of the ladder and try to transfer my weight from one side to the other, my rear end is available for all to see. The descent into the water is just as dangerous PLUS I have cold water nipping at the edge of my knickers. I like to pause on step three and take a steadying breath.

I always think I might flop backwards into the pool but I fear that somehow my foot would slip from the step and get caught behind it creating a bigger situation than simply easing down into the water. Once in, the pool is delightful and I splash and circle to my heart’s content. The kids and I enjoy our time together until I make the decision to face the ladder again. After some contemplation it is up and over I go.

Ladder climbing is a time consuming process which I am sure will be repeated next summer, but for now I have agonizing autumn decisions to make.8c14aef7-ea27-49ad-8740-ddbbde189a6f

Do I keep watering the leggy geraniums or go ahead and let them die?

About Fawn Musick

Writings to make you Smile and Think. Fawn is an award winning newspaper columnist. She is an avid writer, blogger, and mom. Her advice comes from her years of mothering her eight children.
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