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Last updated: Mon. Jun. 27, 2011 - 09:35 am EDT


Life ... without bumper pads column: Summer joy trumps travails

Pool problem doesn't ruin family's sense of fun.


Editor's note: Jill Adams is a professional writer based in Fort Wayne.

After a long, hard winter and a cold, rainy spring, my family and I were more than ready for summer. On the first nice day of the season, we all awoke early, anticipating a chance to bask in some truly glorious weather.

“What are we going to do today?” my son asked immediately.

“Go outside!” his brother answered with a huge grin.

My husband and I nodded in unison. A day spent in the backyard would be perfect. The kids could play, and we could relax. So, we pulled shorts and sandals out of the backs of our closets, coated everyone in sunscreen and filed outside. My husband and I had just settled into lawn chairs with the newspaper when …

“The pool!”

I put down my paper and closed my eyes. I had forgotten about the inflatable pool stored in the garage. Evidently, the kids had not forgotten. I looked at my husband, and his furrowed brows told me we were thinking the same thing.

“Do we have an air pump?” I asked hopefully.

“Nope,” he responded.

Without saying a word, we heaved ourselves out of our chairs and got to the task of inflating the extraordinarily large pool. After 45 minutes, with a parade of stars in front of my eyes and virtually no progress on the task, I made a decision.

“We're going to pass out before this thing is functional,” I told my husband. “I'm going to borrow an air pump from the neighbors.”

I walked down the street, spied a neighbor cleaning out her garage, and made my way up her driveway. When she saw me, she stopped short.

“We've been trying to inflate our kids' pool,” I said as an explanation for my sweaty, frazzled countenance. She nodded in understanding.

“I don't have an air pump,” she said with a knowing smile. “But I have a tire air compressor that plugs into the car.”

The next thing I knew, I was sitting in a running car, in my driveway, holding a tire compressor in just the right spot to actually stream some air into the pool. My husband and I took turns, our hands vibrating from the pressure of the machine. Thirty minutes of this diligence yielded a lion-shaped sprinkler standing on end — which left about 98 percent of the pool completely flat and airless. Our kids were on the verge of tears.

At that moment, I spied something orange out of the corner of my eye. It was our trusty Nemo sprinkler, and it was about to save the day.

“Come on, kids,” I said, marching into the backyard once again and hooking the sprinkler up to the hose. Nemo began to spin watery circles, and the children squealed with delight. With that problem solved, I returned to rescue my husband. I found him staring furiously at the pool.

“There's a hole in it!” he said through clenched teeth. “What a waste of $30!”

“Actually, it's a waste of $33.50,” I responded. “That includes the gallon of gas we just used to power the air compressor as we tried to fill it up.”

He irately wadded up the pool and stuffed it in the box.

And then, we laughed.

We retreated to the backyard once again to enjoy the last few hours of sun on that fine, hot day. I sat in my chair, leaned my head back, closed my eyes and enjoyed my kids' laughter.

It was a good day. Even if my hand was still vibrating a little.

This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel. To read other columns, go to and click the left-side link for Columns. To read Jill Adams' blog, go to

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