Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Couldn't Take the Heat

Let's face it, we had a beautiful summer in Upstate New York this year, and we deserved it, given all of the rain we got last year.

But there was a huge heat spell that we Northerners just aren't used to!  I was miserable for several days.  I hated the stickiness. I hated showering and getting ready for work in a hot bathroom.  Blow drying my hair was torture.  Sleeping was nearly impossible in our sauna of an upstairs Cape.

I broke down and called Sears.  Within two days they were at my house and within a week, I had one of these.

I had friends tell me I was crazy to spend money on air conditioning, since we only have a couple of hot months a year, but I don't regret one penny spent on central air.  It brought comfort to me and my family and there were no more days showering and blow drying my hair only to feel sweaty after getting dressed.

But that's not all. 

When I tell you I couldn't take the heat . . . I mean I REALLY couldn't take the heat.  About a week after we got air conditioning, we made a little trip to make a BIG purchase. 

This big purchase sucked up most of our summer, not to mention all of our savings.

And it's still not finished.

When we bought our house, we started out with a backyard that was overgrown with shrubs and several towering pine trees.  Stop reading here if you consider yourself an environmentalist who cannot handle the removal of trees.

I always try to make eco-conscious decisions, but when we bought our house, we didn't have much of a backyard and the pines were wrecking our roof.  They had to go. 

We own an acre and we did leave some trees for privacy and we have intentions of planting more visually appealing trees in the future.

Once we cleared some of our backyard, we planted grass seed and enjoyed our new backyard for one year.  Yes, I said ONE year.

And then this summer I couldn't take the heat.  So one day when I was on a business trip the digging began.

And when I came home, our purchase was in our backyard.

The rest of the summer would be spent hiring electricians, backfilling around the pool, and hiring a person to do stamped concrete.

We still don't have the landscaping finished and we haven't gotten the fence but I have to tell you . . . this is another purchase I don't regret, even for one second.

We bought  a salt water system, which I hadn't heard of before, but which I've totally come to love. It doesn't have a salty taste like the ocean, but more like the consitency of tears.  It's soft and makes your skin and hair feel great once you get out of the pool.  The best part, is there is no adding chemicals to the pool because the salt water system creates its own chlorine with a nifty little computer that makes everything super easy.

We also got a heater.  This was a considerable expense, but again it's something I don't regret.  Imani and Jason have been swimming right up until a couple of weeks ago when we finally shut the heater off.  We figured that since our summer is so short, we might as well extend it by a couple of months so that we could use the pool.

We're quite happy with the way the stamped concrete turned out, along with the coped edge. 

I know that adding a pool to your backyard does not increase the value of your home but Jason and I saw it as a purchase that would welcome family and friends. 

We saw it as something that would allow us to feel like we're on vacation even though we're in our backyard. 

And we saw it as something that would keep our daughter and her friends playing at our house (at least for a few more years). 

I even enjoy just looking at it.

Here's what I see when I look out of my upstairs bathroom in the morning when I get ready for work.  It is a nice reminder of why I choose to keep working at my job.

I have big plans to get small waterfall next summer, but I'm not convinced Jason is sold on the idea yet.  See that white pipe sticking straight up out of the side of the pool?  That's where a waterfall is all set to go . . . if I can convince Jason that it's worth the money.

We'll see.  We still have to get a fence and complete the landscaping.  Oh, and we hope to extend our deck too but we'll need to start rebuilding our savings. 

Like I said, it was a huge expense and a huge amount of work (mostly for my wonderful husband) . . . but hey . . . we managed to stay cool for the rest of the summer. 

And I'm already planning our first pool party.


  1. wow! that's a massive looking pool. good for you guys!

  2. When we bought our first house, it had central air ~ a feature we weren't looking for but gladly welcomed! Now I can't imagine being without it! It is so nice to get ready in the summer without staying wet!!! We mostly use ours to take the extra humidity out of the air so it's not set real high...gotta enjoy some of the warmth of summer, too!

    Nice pool! You can bet your house will be the hang-out for all your kid's friends!

    Have a wonderful evening!

  3. Glad to see the pool has the concrete and handrail finished. Nest year we plan to spend some more time with you guys in it.

    Love you all,
    Mom and Dad

  4. Good on you Stephenie and Jason! Life's for living and enjoying, right here, right now. I'm impressed!

  5. Congratulations on your two big purchases! Looks like wise investments to me. Down here in Texas where it gets hot for more than 2 months, ACs are a must and pools are pretty common because both are necessary for survival when we have our loooong hot summers. Enjoy the cool!


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