Solar Pool CoversLast weekend when Sam and I left the movie theater to head home from our weekly date, I cringed. The cold air slapped me in the face and the legs of my pants were icy as I walked. “I wish it was spring!” I said. He agreed.

Warm weather sounds mighty good this first week of February. With the snow and ice and sub-freezing temperatures, a warm summer breeze sounds fine. Utah has the most beautiful summer evenings on the planet. The sun stays up late into the evening, everything cools off, there's no humidity to speak of, and the bugs are completely tolerable. It's heaven.

Since I can't summon summer any faster, I'll tell you about my pool. While we didn't include it in the initial build, we have plans for an addition. There is a perfect spot in the yard reserved for the pool. (Donations welcome!)

We don't want anything fancy, but very functional. A simple, rectangle pool is easy to build and maintain. We have looked at solar electronic, sealed winter pool covers. These are a great way to heat the pool early in the season (think energy savings!) because sun power is free. They reduce water and chemical evaporation. More savings! They keep debris out of the pool, so less cleaning is requires. Triple savings.

Most of all, they keep children out. The best brands are impermeable and strong enough to drive a car on. Seriously. We were visiting a friend who had one and my kids literally ran back and forth across the pool cover. (I'm not recommending this, but it happened.)

There are many other essential pool supplies to be thinking about — so you'll be ready to break out the blow-up raft at the first sign of swimming weather.

Have an above-ground pool? Think about adding pool floor padding that will keep your pool intact and prevent leaks. Cut to fit and sized for your pool!

Want to extend the life of your above-ground pool? Try pool coves! They help to prevent wear and tear of your pool liner. Very cost effective.

You Californians and Floridians can just keep it to yourself! The rest of us can only dream about warmer weather. Excuse me while I grab my long johns.