Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Project #1 In the Books....Almost!

So it appears that all other projects have taken a backseat to the MAIN project of the summer. Of course that has been David's backyard and pool! To do a little recap.....hoping to get a head start on the summer and get David swimming for therapy early, we went out to open our pool in mid May. Some wonderful people came over to help clean it out and get it ready. We were on top of things and ahead of schedule when the pool began to fill. Unfortunately, the existing liner had somehow shrunk and after running water in it overnight....I went out to find the liner had pulled away, collapsed the pool and about 2,000 gallons of water had "watered" my yard all night. Some other wonderful people came over to try and help me fix the damage (we at this time did not realize the liner was the issue.) After fixing the damage, we tried again only to come out with the same results. NOW we knew it was the liner. The necessary repairs were once again completed and I was about to order a new liner, when we had one of our famous Kansas storms, complete with wind and hail. The pool collapsed and bent to the point of irreparable. So much for being ahead of the game. 

Thanks to the generosity of some other wonderful people....a pool was donated to David. Then, the unbelievable happened. Three men, two of whom were complete strangers before the pool....decided to volunteer and donate their time to put the pool up. Thanks to them and a few others.....Davids pool was going to be a reality. Working evenings and weekends when weather permitted, the project began. No one knew that it would be more than a simple pool raising. Instead truly became a project! 

The original pool was a round pool and the deck had been built around it. The new pool however was an oval shape and thus the old deck had to be reshaped. The guys thought they would simply dismantle the old deck, save the boards, reshape it to fit the new pool and put it all back together. It sounded simple enough, but in Lisaland....nothing is ever that simple. Upon taking the old deck apart, the existing deck boards were rotted and damaged. It was a miracle no one had fallen through it. The only lumber that was usable were the actual posts. The deck also had to be reshaped and lengthened a bit to fit the new pool. So now not only did the guys have a pool to put up, but they also had a deck to basically rebuild. 

Once the old pool was completely dismantled and then removed....other problems began
to rear their ugly heads. One of the biggest problems was that the ground had to be completely redone where the old pool had been sitting. It was terribly unlevel which explained the six inch difference in levels from one side of the old pool to the other and it also explained why the liner no longer fit the old pool. The ground also had to be extended and prepared for the configuration of the new pool. We also found that rocks as well as other debris had worked its way up out of the ground over the years causing a disaster for the new liner. So the guys painstakingly had to map it all out and plant stakes to level it. Then....another kind person donated their time and their bobcat to come dig out the high spots and level it all. While doing this, the guys decided that not only was my pool site unlevel but my entire backyard was unlevel too. They were right of course and this was the main reason that having David in his wheelchair out there was almost impossible. This was when one of the guys brought in his tractor and proceeded to start leveling my entire backyard. Finally....after seven tons of sand was brought in, a couple of arguments with Lowes management and hours and hours of measurements, leveling, tractor work, shoveling sand and hauling looked as if there was going to be a pool and deck! The best part of all of this has been that David got to be a part of much of the process...rolling out onto newly leveled ground, hanging with the guys and getting his first tractor ride. He loved being a part of it all and I think it renewed the guys efforts to make this David's special place!


This last Sunday....the pool was officially finished and the deck boards were all in place. David got to try his pool out for the very first time. He loved it! In fact....he loved it so much that he stayed in until he was almost too tired to get out. It was all we had hoped it would be for him as the deck is spacious, the new stairs into the pool are amazing for him and the pool itself is big enough to give him a truly amazing workout. He kicked his legs and feet all over that 18 x 33 pool and with the buoyancy of the water, his PT exercises were a breeze. After all....everything in a pool is fun.....right?!

As far as the pool is complete and the deck is in it's final stages of completion. By
the weekend all of the railing should be completed and another amazing person will move the electrical for all the pools needs. We have had one David fan donate lights to string around the deck and we are currently looking for a couple of pole tents to give the deck a bit of shade in the midday heat. Soon though, Project #1 David's pool will be in the books. I am sure that my wonderful volunteers will be so happy to be able to enjoy the pool instead of work on it. 

Of course, my summer projects are far from over, but with the pool and deck finished.....I will now have more time to devote to other things. And remember the completed firepit? Well it is back on the project list. It seems that with the leveling of the yard, it had to be dismantled. Fear not is coming back soon....bigger and better!!! 

So there you have it! Project #1 is all but done. Like any project, it had its ups and downs but it was an amazing experience to know that people were willing to give financially and physically to make this a reality for David. You know who you are and you will never know how grateful I am to all of you! I have made wonderful new friends and learned so much about deck building and pool erecting. However, I hope it is a very long time before I have to use those new found skills again. 

1 comment:

J'nelle said...

I love this blog. It makes me want to get busy and do something in my yard. I hope you know that many of your blogs are very inspirational and uplifting and make others want to strive to be better. I have often told my husband that you are one of my hero's. I am so glad that this has happened for your son and that you can enjoy it too.