I Didn’t See a Thing!

It had to be done.  My fear of “crawly things” had to be put to the side and I had to suck it up and do it!  It was the pool again.  The water had gotten so low that, if we didn’t get some water back in, it was going to start running the pump dry.  We had been hoping for rain, but it did not come; so I hooked up the hose and filled it back up to above the skimmer line just a bit.  I had waayyyy enough water in it to do a “backwash” and a “rinse” before I switched it (yes, I did) back to “filter.”  The creepiest thing happened while I was on the back side of the pool, in the middle of the “rinse” cycle; my “flight” response kicked in hard and fast, but I was stuck!

Before I got brave enough to go over to the “back” side of the pool to do the backwash and rinse, and before the whole “putting water in the pool” thing to begin with, I decided to do some light weed-eating around the back of the house.  Since the morning was so nice, I wanted to catch it while it was still early and cool, before the sun heated everything up again.  But,while I was in the garage, on the other side of it, pulling out the wimpy, battery-powered weed-eater, the dog started going a little crazy.  She was barking and coming at me and nipping at me and growled at me once.  I was ready to put her back in the house and not let her play at all.  She was acting a bit nuts.  I know she loves me and she likes to play, but that was ridiculous.

My only real duty was to let the dog out, and she was pushing that.  To begin with, I was not really dressed for the weed-eating thing.  I had on short sleeves and knee-knockers, and was wearing flip-flops.  (We will not even mention that I left the glasses laying on the sideboard in the kitchen; so there was no eye protection.)  To my own defense though, I had not left the house intending to do any weed-eating, or really, even the water in the pool thing that morning.  I had simply planned to let the dog out and, maybe, fold some laundry.

I took the wimpy, orange weed-eater from the (obviously scary side of the) garage and knocked down a few weeds around the house and around the front side of the pool.  I went through three batteries just doing that; and let me tell you, this is not a very large area at all.  I could have done more if I had not impaired the “actual” weed eater while attempting to use it last week.  First of all, I somehow got the string jammed so that only one strand will dispense.  I generally have to have someone help me start it, because I seem to have never mastered that “rope pull” technique. I was able to start it once last week and was so excited that I decided to use it with only one string.  Surely that would cut some of the weeds better than the useless, battery-powered one. Then when I tried to start it again, I could not do it.  I pulled the cord a couple of times to no avail.  The last time I pulled it, it nearly started and I let go of it a little, but still had a hold of the grip, kind of, maybe, sort of, I think.  Anyhow, after I lost my grip, I must have gotten it in the middle of it winding back up, thinking I needed to finish the “pulling out” cycle.  I attempted to pull it again and I heard this, “pflumppp.”  The cord just died and would not do anything.  It would not wind back up and it would not pull back out.  It was just stuck, half way… and I had to go to my brother and confess… that I had killed his weed-eater…  the one I am not allowed to use…  yet again. (Guess now you understand why I have been relegated to the mostly useless, battery-powered model.)

So, the current task on this particular, cool morning had to be completed with the less desirable of the two.  I went as far as I could until all of my batteries died.  Yes, as I was putting the worthless, piece of plastic that is the battery-powered model back in the garage, I longingly looked at the super-duper, high speed model, which I did NOT attempt to use at this time, believe it or not.

I walked outside and took a look at the pool.  I was feeling more than a little pleased with myself.  You just can’t believe how clean and clear that baby is!  If you will recall, this was not an easy situation to create this summer.  With the green mess that we had in the spring and early summer, I never dreamed that it would be at this crystal clear place ever again.  But, with the help of the magic pods (from Norman) and the magic erasers in the skimmer bucket (from some random person on Face Book), taking care of the pool has been the easiest ever!  It did need some water though. We had not had enough rain to help the water level any at all.   So I hooked the hose up and ran it to the pool and left it for a couple of hours, or so.

I knew the backwash was necessary, plus where the pool had filled up a little more than I had intended, it was sort of necessary.  This meant going to the back side of the pool though.  ARGH!  I have avoided this side most of the summer.  On this day though, I just sucked it up and trudged to the back side of the pool.  There had been no weed-eater over here in a few weeks!   Plus this is where the wall, built by railroad ties starts (a haven for creepy, crawly things, I am sure!)   The dog was close, running here and there and coming to check on me from time to time, so I felt a smidgen of security.

Something happened to our power outlet and we have had to use a heavy duty power cord to run the pump to get the rest of the way through the summer.  I assumed the position, which was one foot on the hill and one foot on the cement landscaping blocks, up out off the wet ground.  I unplugged the pump and turned the lever over to “backwash.”  I plugged it back up and let it run a minute or so.  Then I unplugged it again.  I looked around and the goofy dog was still with me and seemed to be having a high-ole time.  I saw that I had plenty of water left in the pool, so I figured I would run it through a rinse cycle also.  I unplugged the pump again and switched the lever over to “rinse.”  I plugged it back in and was standing there holding the plugged in cord, letting the rinse cycle complete.

I was watching the pressure on the pump.  With my peripheral vision loss, that is all I could see, directly what I was looking at.  All of a sudden, I felt something slither and slime over the top of my foot, (that was in a flip-flop, mind you,) that was propped up on the landscaping blocks!  I could not really move because I was precariously perched and in the middle of the rinse cycle.  I hesitated and then looked down, afraid of what I might see.  (You know what I was afraid I would see!  Probably why I hesitated to look down!  I don’t know what I would have done if it had been!)  I did not see a thing.  I looked to see if there was anything curling around the landscaping block or slithering through the grass; but could see nothing.  I did let the rinse cycle complete.  I unplugged, turned it back to filter (I promise), plugged it back up and got out of there as fast as I could!

Once I got around to the other side of the pool, here comes the goofy dog again, dancing around me like she knew a happy secret.  Then it hit me.  I “think” (I hope) I figured out the “slimed” episode on the back side of the pool.  The dog.  Yes, I am certain, it was the dog.  (Please have been the dog!)  My foot looked too tempting to her, all chubby and white and yummy looking, just propped up there within reach, totally unprotected.  She loves to lick me; I think because she knows that I hate it!  When she is going in for a hit, she will move in fast and get away fast.  That must be why I didn’t see her.  Bless her crazy, little heart!   She nearly gave me a heart attack this time!

I was laughing and trying to take the dog’s picture, because I knew this would end up as a blog post some time!  The funny thing was, she would not look at me to let me take her picture.  Every time I would get ready, she would just turn her head.  she was having a time making me dance around her to try and get a picture.  Then finally I got her in front of the pool area and took a few pictures quickly.  After I saw the only picture that came out decently, I cracked up.  There she was, with her tongue sticking out, mocking me, of course!  What a sweet reminder of the whole incident.  (See the banner photo!)

I can’t believe, once I felt something slither over my foot, that I did not throw the power cord and run, leaving the rinse cycle going and water draining out of the pool!  I had a moment of sheer panic, afraid to look but afraid to not look.  I held on to the power cord though.  I let the cycle finish and then I made my way to a safer place.   I have a feeling if I had let fear win out on that one that the pump may have run dry and the pool would have been the much worse for the wear.

There are a lot of times in our lives, those times when we are afraid to look up or look down, that we are tempted to let go of the “Power Cord” that keeps us connected.  I have found in the hard times, the scary times, the difficult times, even the confusing times, the best thing I can do is to just hold on tight to the Power that resides within and allow God to lead, guide and protect me.

There are still times when the enemy will sneak up and blindside you with a slime shot, but if you can remember that the One with the power will never let you go, you can hold on and make it through to the other side.

~~~

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;”  ~~  Psalm 121:1-3 (NIV)

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