so my story begins in 2001 when we bought this homely house we now call home. in fact, the realtor, in describing the house called it "ugly rue cezanne" because there was another home on rue cezanne for sale. the former owners had done nothing to it. stock white tile everywhere, even a large hole where the sub zero refrigerator "should" have been placed. instead, an awkward, small kenmore version stood there sheepishly. cheap, bent venetian blinds adorned the windows, and absolutely the cheapest, most generic, motel 6 pool was sitting in the backyard. here we were in a beautiful neighborhood and this eyesore was just waiting patiently to be adorned. the house had been on the market for over a year...should have been a signal to me, but no, couldn't take a hint...my design mind went into overdrive. the realtor was so impressed with my "vision" she said. (she was just so glad we were dumb enough to buy it). i had high hopes of turning this plain estate into a beautiful palace. just had never done it on this kind of scale before, and didnt have a clue where to start....well, actually i did. the floors and the windows were first to be taken care of. only after the built in fridge was purchased, (a whopping $7000 for a sub zero) did we realize we may be in over our heads. that was just the beginning of the money pit.
we found a tile guy who literally lived with us for over a month. i actually helped him in the design and installation of the travertine. we had fun designing trims and borders. he even held dane occasionally while eating his lunch. once i caught him watching tv with dane on his lap, feeding him tastes of his ice cream. dane was crawling while i was having my floors replaced. what was i thinking? next was paint, and crown molding, built ins, shutters and granite countertops...then closet organizers and new door hardware. had to get rid of the shiny brass. yuk. the transformation was taking place, at least on the inside...
next was the outside...what a task. i had no idea it would be so hard.
long story short. hired a contractor who had no idea what he was doing. had to rip out (and ripping out involves bobcats and lots of men with jackhammers, and large dump trucks) what he put in, only after six figures, a lawsuit, and much anger and anxiety. the pool sat empty for 2 summers and thats when my grey hair started. when i think about him, he makes my blood boil. he actually is still in business...dont know how or why, but i see his car around town. want to rip his eyes out. no hostility here, ya think? (take a deep breath, shawna).
then a contractor who actually knew what he was doing, and was honest, saved us. he finished it beautifully, except his pool contractor was another one who was clueless. so this puts us at 3 contractors working on the pool, still no one gets it right. no one knows what "code" is. how hard is it anyway?
so here i am today, with another empty pool. oh, and it happens to be the middle of the summer...great timing. hopefully this will be the last time. now it will be covered in tiny, crystal tiles. the whole bottom will be glorious glass squares, which will feel smooth on your feet. this time i am actually excited for it to be finished, excited for the work to be done instead of anxious and upset, grey hairs sprouting profusely. the backyard from hell has reared its ugly head again, but hopefully this time i will be able to pat it sweetly and say, "ok, you can go away now".