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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The only constant in life is change

Large, opulent and deserted.
Back in the '60s a friend told me: "The only constant in life is change." This, I believe, is a quote from Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus. It's nice to seem some things last.

I think change helped hollow out our cities and ruin our downtowns. Change doomed many a grand movie house and change destroyed many an opulent downtown hotel.

Saturday I saw how change can affect a small, forgotten bit of elegance lost deep in a small town backyard: A solid concrete swimming pool built with hard work and love.

The entrance to the pool is amazingly intact.
Ernie built concrete, in-ground pools for a living. When Ernie built an in-ground for himself and his wife, he built a well crafted beauty.

Ernie died more than a decade ago and his pool was forgotten. His wife, in her eighties, didn't use the pool and living alone she was unable to maintain it or even close it down properly.

Sadly, no neighbour, no relative, no one spent much time thinking about the forgotten, concrete pool. It sat neglected.

It is mainly frogs that enjoy the pool today.
The water grew green with algae and the laughing of young nephew and nieces was replaced by the croaking of bull frogs. The concrete deck gently heaved and weeds grew between the concrete slabs.

But Ernie made a good pool. Rainwater and snowfall replenished the pool water that evaporated and the old, solid pool held; It didn't leak.

Ernie's wife died recently and the pool has been rediscovered. Despite its green-thick water, despite the frogs, despite the weeds and forlorn flower gardens, the pool was a real estate plus. The home sold quickly and the new owners, a young couple, are going to restore the old, concrete pool.

I wish them luck.

The pool has new owners and the change may bring it some permanence.

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