Pool building day has arrived! A couple of pickup trucks disgorged a small army of guys into our side yard. David the pool salesman was leading the charge. First thing he did was tell me that the brick walkway leading to my garbage cans in my side yard needed to be taken up because the excavator would destroy it. I was horrified. The walkway had only been built a couple months earlier and I loved it. The thing was pretty and it kept my feet from getting soaked when I was taking out the garbage. After the walkway went in, not a day went by that I didn't ask myself why it had taken so long to do this amazing, sensible, convenient thing. Now David was telling me it had to go? Not on my watch!
"So you're going to remove the walkway, but you'll put it back when you're done, right?" I asked.
"Yeah, we'll put it back," David assured me.
"You'll put it back the way it is?" I pressed, just to make sure he realized how serious I was about my beloved walkway.
"We'll put it back, but this isn't really the sort of thing we do."
I nodded. The assurance that it would be put back was probably the best I was going to get. Demanding that it would be as good as new might be setting the bar too high.
So David's small army started prying up my bricks as I took photos and sent angry texts to my husband at work about how upset I was about the loss – albeit temporary – of my beautiful walkway.
Probably to distract me and get me out of the way of his workers, David led me to the backyard. He pointed to a large flowering bush in the middle of the spot where the pool was about to go. I don't know what kind of bush it is. All these Southern bushes blend together in my mind. It might be a magnolia or a camellia or a gardenia. Or maybe a creeping myrtle. Is that a thing?
"What do you want to do with that?" he asked.
"Glad you asked. I've been trying to get someone to move it, and it's too big for my husband and me to move on our own."
"When we get the excavator back here, we can scoop it up and put it somewhere else. How about over there?" David indicated an open area on the other side of the yard.
"Yes! That would be perfect! It's just what I wanted!" Suddenly I wasn't quite so upset about the (temporary) loss of the walkway. My foliage would be saved!
Back out in front, the excavator had arrived. It was huge! There was no way that thing could get into my backyard, was there?
David came to find me again.
"As I discussed with your husband, we're going to try to get the excavator into the backyard without removing the gate, but we might not have a choice," he said.
"If you have to take the gate down, you'll put it up again, right?" I asked. If you couldn't tell before, I really don't care much about pools. I don’t like being wet or cold or wearing bathing suits, so there's not much in it for me. However, this always been my husband's dream, and I was totally in support of getting him his midlife crisis pool. Heck, if for no other reason, someday I might decide to have a midlife crisis of my own, and this would make it harder for him to stand in the way of me getting a midlife crisis horse or pickup truck or 3 karat diamond.
No, what I cared about was minimizing destruction and inconvenience in our lives. If stuff was going to be removed or dismantled, I wanted it put back. If stuff had to be destroyed, like the lovely grass in the soon-to-be-pool area, then I wanted enough money left over after this ordeal to fix it.
"Yes, we'll put it back up," David said.
So while David and I sat on the back patio going through paperwork, his small army removed the gate and ushered a colossal piece of technology into the backyard. I couldn't watch. It had been hard enough to witness my walkway reduced to a pile of bricks.
Watching the massive excavator emerge around the narrow side of the house into the backyard was like watching my driveway give birth. You understand that this same event has occurred thousands of times before at other people's houses, but watching it happen to yours leaves you convinced there's no way something this big is going to fit. What if my house needed a C-section?
When the excavator was safely delivered into my backyard, the first thing it did was scoop a bucketful of dirt out of the other side of the grass from where the pool was going. Then it rolled over to the spot that was about to become a pool. It scooped up the bush along with its seven-foot root ball, carried it over to the newly dug hole and tipped it in. The bush landed with its root ball down, and its leaves up, just like it should have. How the excavator driver did that is beyond me, but as my husband said when I showed him the video, that driver is a great man.
Next time: The deep, deep, deep hole.