Trying Something New

15 Nov

By the time a person reaches retirement age, they have had lots of experiences in their lives. Most have established their priorities, habits, hobbies and general interests. Other than travel to new places, it can be hard to find new things to try that they have never done before. Continuing to stay active and interesting requires a few new adventures, however, to spice things up. Retired folks often like travel for that reason as well as finally having a more flexible timeline.

We have done a number of remodels/house rehabs before so erecting walls, hanging drywall, tiling or laying down floors are fun but not new adventures. Setting up our 12 x 24 swimming pool two summers ago, was something new. We learned a number of things we wanted to do better in the 2nd year. Rather than having our sand base wash away, we built a landscape timber surround. Next spring we will add more sand to level the legs once again.

Our overwinter plan for the first year was to drain and dry the pool, remove the legs and top rail from the two short sides and fold over the two long sides. We covered that with blue tarp anchored down with tent stakes. When the weather warmed in the spring we unfolded a moldy mess. It took lots of scrubbing to get the inside and outside clean enough to fill with water. We had stored the pump and sand filter parts in the man cave which occupied a corner we really want for other use.

This year we have drained and pumped the pool dry after we ended the swimming season. We have left the pool standing which meant that it quickly filled with leaves and rainwater. That produces a smellier mess than the folded collapsed pool from the year before! We needed a good cover but they don’t seem to be available for the size of our above ground pool. Keeping it filled with water to support a simple tarp means running the pump and chlorination system in freezing weather. Not a good plan.

Enter the hoop house pool cover. Hoop houses use plastic plumbing pipe looped upward but anchored to the ground and covered with plastic. They are popular green houses because they are not overly expensive to build nor are they complicated to construct. The Internet offers a variety of plans and suggestions for the construction. Those all share one major item that our needs did not. They are all constructed on open ground or over a garden area with easy ground level access. We would be construction over a 12′ x 24′ x 52″ tall structure without access to a ladder in the middle. Would we be able to span that width and length without having a ladder? We did leave our entrance ladder at one end but could we pull the plastic up and over the plastic pipes? YES!

We now feel like real pros on general hoop house construction. Time will tell if it makes it through the winter, but we learned a lot and know what we would do better if need be.  In the future we may construct one for over the garden. In both cases the plastic could be replaced with fiberglass screening for the summer months to keep the bugs (and leaves) out. No more grass hoppers eating everything in the garden and then dying in the pool. No more bees getting a drink while Harry is trying to swim.  Harry thought I was nuts when I explained the plan but now he is sold. Wonder what other new adventures I can think up for this winter? May have to settle for travel. We have yet to see much of our new home state of Texas.

The poolHoop House pool coverCentipede look hoop house

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One Response to “Trying Something New”

  1. gramajan November 15, 2014 at 9:59 AM #

    It looks as though you’ve found a perfect solution–I hope it proves as effective as expected.

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