Monthly Archives: May 2024

We either accept reality or live with the consequences.


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A Kentucky country singer named Larry Redmon wrote and recorded a number called, “Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone,” which could very well have been the theme music for the many days I have spent cleaning/fixing/rebuilding our modest water feature over the past decade-plus.

But, didn’t you break your toe and decide you were done with all that last year, my readers may well ask!  Well, here’s the latest and greatest (unmute to hear water and bird sounds):

The big change I made this spring was installing a low platform in the pool, over which I laid a sheet of filter fabric to keep debris out of the pool, and then laying flat stones on top of that.  So the water reservoir itself is now invisible — there’s only a little water on the surface of the rocks, to make it easy to blow leaves out.  And hopefully no more sludge to scoop out in the spring.

Here is a brief history of the Pool at Pooh Corner.  Click the links, there will be a quiz.

2012:  The original platform for the statue, with just a dribble of water.

2016:  In the quest for ever more splash, I added the double cascade.  The water reservoir was just a 10-gallon pail hidden in a drain in front of the statue, which only accommodated a small pump.

2017:  We paid some people to rebuild the water feature and dig out a proper pool so that a bigger pump could be installed.  The thing turned into a rock quarry and took a good bite out of the walkway as well.  I had misgivings from the start.

2022:  Now known as the Pit of Despair, the water feature was continuously plagued by leaks and debris.  I decided that I would take matters into my own hands and rebuild it myself in the spring.

2023:  My rebuild project came to a pathetic halt after I fell and broke my toe.  The people I hired to finish the job did OK but I could see their hearts weren’t into it — it wasn’t their usual line-of-business, they acted like they were doing me a favor, and they really weren’t on board with my objectives (minimal maintenance).   But it looked nice.

Which brings us to now.  I never read Moby Dick but I wonder if I unconsciously turned the water feature into a Captain Ahab kind of retirement obsession.  It bothers me that such a trivial thing has grabbed so much of my mind and my time.  But in the words of Texas gospel blues singer Blind Willie Johnson, it’s nobody’s fault but mine.

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