I did the first logical thing I could think of: try to repair them. I grabbed some extra vinyl and started to patch. Of course I was patching over two foot long holes that were not up against the side of the pool, they were just kind of floating.
I said a little prayer. Okay I said a big prayer, and even put the poor pool on the prayer list at church (yes I prefaced it with: this might be silly, but).
Monday I checked them and the patches did not hold and the holes were getting bigger.
I went by Thompson's Tuesday at lunch assuming that the only possible solution was a new liner, which I did not have the money for. Mike Thompson, bless his heart, kept me from having a nervous breakdown by telling me to call "Dr. Vinyl" and they should be able to repair it for around $400.
So I did just that. Only Dr. Vinyl couldn't. Neither could any of the places that I googled that did vinyl repair. I went back to work and realized the problem I was facing: I had no money and had to have the liner replaced.
I burst out crying and slightly hyperventilating due to a nice little panic attack. I knew exactly what had happened: when we were getting in and out of the pool to clean it the vinyl pulled enough away from the sides that it made kind of a bubble. When we were stepping on it the corners just gave way, the liner was OLD which did not help my cause.
I went to my boss' office, tears streaming down my face and said I needed to go. She took me into the conference room to calm me down before I attempted to drive and I had to explain that I was freaking out because of a tear in my pool liner (this sounds silly, but own a pool and you'll understand).
After halfway composing myself, I hopped in the car and headed to Ardmore to talk to my mom. We met at El Chico where, again, I burst out crying. I'm pretty sure the stress of the previous nine months all came down to that one moment. I was absolutely exhausted, physically and mentally. I had been running like a crazy person, completing 18 hours of grad school in two semesters, all while working full time, being on a relatively time consuming committee in JLN, plus working on a big JLN new member project, and jumping on board another committee, which I will be chairing next year, plus I was helping with youth every Sunday. I was exhausted. I hated being in Norman and I was not happy with life in general at that moment. About a month before I had gone to Ardmore for a weekend and had a really good time. It was stress free and it was nice. I knew that when I was in Norman every moment of my life was planned. Generally speaking I like that, the structure and purpose of it all, but I had just had enough. I hadn't been writing like I like to so much, which I use as my stress relief, I hadn't been reading for fun, which is another stress relief, though I had been going out a lot. I was just worn out.
At that point I still didn't know what I was going to do about the pool. A few weeks later, when things calmed down a smidge, my mom called and said she would help with the cost of the liner (praise Jesus!). I set out calling around to get estimates.
That was a chore in and of itself. I didn't know the measurements of the pool, well I knew it was 24,000 gallons, but that's about all I knew and I figured that would be enough to get an estimate. Wrong! Finally I got hold of a few people who would come out and measure it and call me back with estimates (without charging to do so).
The first I got was $3500-4000. Um, no!
Another was $3200.
One really nice guy came out and measured and it would be $2850 with the thinnest liner they made.
After all of that I went to my favorites: Thompson Pool and Patio and prayed they would have the best price because I really wanted to use them. I went in and they put me on the list to have it measured. This was Monday, May 9 and told me that it would be about 2-3 weeks before they could be out to just measure it. Really? Well that was not the case, Mike called me on Thursday with a price that beat the others (praise Jesus again!) and that I needed to come in and pick out the vinyl.
I went in at lunch and picked one out, pretty quickly, which was thicker on the bottom and sides than the one I'd had previously. I was ready to order it then. This was a relatively large investment, so Mike sent me with a brochure with all the liners in it and told me to think about it and to get opinions from my friends and come back.
I showed about 10,000 people the different liners (okay maybe exaggerating a little bit), and came down to two: one that was thicker all the way and one that was thicker on the bottom, but not the sides (or vice versa). There wasn't a price difference and I wasn't going to get that much more time out of one than the other, so I knew I needed to see the vinyl and would be able to decide then.
I was right. And I ended up picking the exact same one that I had picked out the day before:
|Capri Fresco II|
I liked that it was lighter than what I had before and I liked that the top looked like tile and not just a printed pattern. Mike said it would make the yard look different because it was so much different than what I'd had before. I liked that idea because I wanted this to be mine, my decision and my pool. He ordered it that day and said it would be two and a half to three weeks before it came in...