Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Swimming Hole

Have you ever uttered the words “What a redneck!”?
Well I have discovered why there are so many rednecks in the country…it is a contagious disease.
An ancient virus that lurks far below the surface of the earth in the pockets of water known as aquifers. Those are the same aquifers that country folk depend on for water in the way-out-yonder.
And I have become infected.
I walk out to the stock tank in my shorts and boots. I hang my clothes outside to dry. And now the biggest sign that one is a redneck graces our side yard.
An above-ground pool.
At first I fought it, I promised myself that it would only be temporary. That someday, we would rejoin the more civilized society and pay way too much for an in-ground pool. I dreamed of far reaching patios and flaming tiki torches on sultry summer nights.
But my husband assured me it would be no problem for us to build the unsightly structure, promised there were Youtube videos proving the ease of installation. So I grudgingly agreed and we began gathering the many parts required to turn sheets of metal and vinyl into a swimming pool.
Andy worked for weeks leveling the ground upon which the pool would stand. Apparently placing a pool on a hill is ill-advised. He even built a water level to span the 18 feet to ensure a flat spot on our strangely hilly land.
The day finally arrived when everything was ready and friends came to lend extra hands. Everyone had viewed the installation video and was prepared to swim in a few hours.
The video had shown two people, a man and a woman, quickly build the physics-defying contraption in six easy steps and no sweat required. If two people could do it so easily, nine would be way more than enough.
Seven hours and four newly invented curse words later, the pool was filling up with water. Seven hours of standing with our arms spread wide holding the metal walls while being scorched by the sun. Seven hours of yelling at the kids if they scratched their nose. Seven hours of no bathroom breaks. Seven hours of plotting our own installation video for Youtube. A video that would have to be rated R for the amount of expletives uttered by the, no less than twelve, people needed to stand in a horribly uncomfortable position for fear of a slight breeze would turn the pool walls into a giant sail.
Even after all of that anguish, I love that pool. A swimming hole, on top of the ground, is the best place to cool off after working on the ranch during a blistering Texas summer. A wonderful place to talk of big dreams with the kids while they float in the crystal blue water.
My favorite thing about the pool?
That it is above ground. The hordes of animals that call our place home can’t seem to navigate the ladder for a dip. We are now plotting an extensive porch structure connecting the upper porch on the back of the house to our pool down below just so we no longer have to race in the black of night to the house all while praying nothing with sharp teeth is standing between us and the safety of the garage. The peace of floating under the stars in the black of night makes running the gauntlet worth it.
I wish I had pictures of the installation itself, but I would have been flogged by my husband for abandoning my post…

Is it ready yet?


  Is it ready NOW?

Swimming may commence!

1 Comment

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