Future PoolWhen we moved from Florida to Utah, we had the grand idea that we were going to be gentleman farmers. We had purchased five acres of land with animal rights and were getting ready to make our way on our ranchette. We planned for horses, mini-cows, chickens, and goats. We'd also have a large vegetable garden and a small orchard of fruit trees. It was going to be awesome.

When my dad gifted me a certificate good for a horse — having begged for one all of my childhood starting at age five — for my fortieth birthday, the quest was for real. I began researching horse care and a good horsewoman began taking me to look at potential horses to begin our herd.

One day, in the midst of the horse quest, a good friend — a musician by day (and night) and a horse lover whenever he could fit it in his schedule — mentioned how much he loved spending time with his beloved animals. I sat back and reflected how, very soon, our family would have the same benefit. Then he said, “Just yesterday, when I was out in the barn for the second feeding…”

I shot straight up.

“Second feeding?” I asked.

“Yea, when I was out at the barn…”

Second feeding?” I asked again, making sure he understood the stressed word.


Wow. It's not just feeding and housing and brushing and shoeing and worming and dozens of other unfamiliar, time-consuming events. But now it's also two feedings a day?

My nearly lifelong dreams and fantasies aside, that was just it, that was the final straw. With six kids and homeschooling and business concerns — two feedings a day on top of all the rest of the horsey high maintenance was just one feeding too many.

Yesterday we set up a new fish tank, a gift for Caleb's eighth birthday. That is about as high maintenance as I can go for pets, given my current high demand lifestyle.

The backyard of our house plans include a swimming pool. We have the perfect spot laid out and preserved.

All summer I imagined how great it would be if it was already there. I know it would be used almost daily by my own kids and their friends. It would be a gathering spot and an open invitation to party. And I'd love that. But I know, just through the pool-owner's grapevine, that pools require maintenance and work.

I still want to work toward the pool project. But before we start digging that hole, I want to make sure we aren't digging ourselves into a hole. We'll be doing serious research on pool maintenance requirements. We'll be looking at overall costs to install and maintain. We'll be reading about various materials and their pros and cons. We'll be seeking out information about pool chemicals and water treatment. We'll be studying the various available pool accessories, especially pool covers, for safety and increased use.

We hope a pool will be in our near future. But the last thing we want is a pool that uses resources, but can't be used because it's in constant disrepair. Before diving in, no pun intended, we'll make sure we have all the facts to make a good decision.