25 June 2012


With the summer heat comes pool season here on Long Island. Owning a pool is like owning a boat- it's really much nicer when someone else owns it and you get to use it without having to deal with all the maintenance hassles and expenses. With a pool they add up. You have the opening, vacuuming (necessary because of all the sand that blows up from the beach here), and all the various chemicals that go into balancing the water properly. Then eventually you have the closing. 
In between they always offer to test your water for free. Although the water may appear to be nice and clear, it always turns out you need yet more chemicals for things you've never heard of to achieve proper "balance." I don't do that any more because I've been in the water without any adverse effects. I'll settle for chlorine and Ph. After all, people have been immersed in ponds, lakes, and swimming holes for generations in water that is totally unprocessed, and they've managed to survive. 
Then it rains and the temperature drops and the water chills down. In this area the pool is only usable on warm, sunny days. There's a storm and the pool fills up with debris I have to fish out. It is too cold to swim, but I still have to run the motor several hours every day anyway, now that it's open, to maintain balance.  So now while waiting for summer temperatures to return to normal I'm starting to calculate the rough cost per swim, but I stop because it is too disturbing.  Boat owners ought to do the same thing. I would think the results would be even worse, which is why I've refused to own a motorized vessel here. Too much trouble and expense. But again, like a pool it is nice to use if someone else owns it! 
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As soon as I get away from the city everything seems more remote. The news seems far away and not that interesting. One's attention becomes more localized and immediate, and you wonder why you give things the time and attention that you do in the city. Some of the things you spend money on suddenly seem ludicrous. It becomes possible to step back and see things from a broader, more detached  perspective.  The natural world is closer, and it's sounds are carried with the summer breeze. I'm still fully wired-up here, but I don't give the same attention to it. Absent the fast pace and cacaphony of the city, everything seems clearer. So I begin to wonder; which is the "real" world?

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