Into hot water…or not

on, off water switch

Hey, remember when I dragged home a “free” hot tub? By “dragged” I mean six strong friends, heavy equipment and a trailer was involved?

Yeah, me neither. Let’s pretend that never happened.

In a comedy of errors that pretty much only happens to me (because I basically sign up for these things), the hot tub is not to be.

Well, I mean it exists. At my house. On a deck built expressly to hold it actually. If one is going to jump heedlessly into bad ideas, one should go big or go home.

Much like the old song about the shin bone being connected to the thigh bone and the thigh bone connected to … whatever the thigh bone is connected to, so to does it go with hot tub parts.

We had to purchase one (nonrefundable) special pump to move the water through enough to see that the second (nonrefundable) special pump leaked and would also need to be replaced. These purchases were spaced out over a few weeks as we would receive and install one part only to discover the next part in succession had failed.

There were tiny gaskets and hose caps and filters and cleaners. There were the aforementioned pumps (times two) and a special electric box for the special electrical service hot tubs apparently need.

Sure we want it. Throughout this process, as he crawled around on hands and knees peering into the bowels of a hot tub, Mr. Wonderful was heard to ask “did we even WANT a hot tub?”

I ignored him as I am prone to doing when he is trying, valiantly, to put an end to one of my harebrained schemes. Hey Buzzkill, get back to work on that pump.

All the parts and processes came together this weekend in the defining moment when Mr. Wonderful, with his trusty sidekick BoyWonder by his side, filled the hot tub with water (so much water). He hooked up the pump. He started the pump and … he sent BoyWonder inside (always send the young ones) to say “Mom, Dad really wants you to see this.”

“This” was the sight of all those many gallons of water literally spewing out of the blown-out side of the hot tub. Foam insulation flying out in chunks as the water, with the help of the high-pressure pump, flowed in a waterfall from the (we now see) badly cracked pipes around the body of the tub.

If not for the fact that it was ruined, the sight was actually glorious. The top pumps churned the water while the bottom emptied in a rush (fortunately downhill toward the goat pasture. Silver lining!)

I could tell BoyWonder was holding his breath wondering what mom was going to say in the face of this catastrophic failure — and the costs involved.

Suffice to say we were hundreds upon HUNDREDS of dollars in to (did I mention nonrefundable) pumps. Not to mention all the little gaskets and caps, some of which flew by in the spray of water and floated downstream.

We had spent untold hours and initial testing (it held water under low pressure, I swear!).

Age brings wisdom

This is where age has its advantages. Fortysomething me did what twentysomething me would never have dreamt possible when I ended up in hot water (or not, as the case may be). I laughed.

If there is one thing I know, it is that “my hot tub doesn’t work” is a decidedly first world problem. There was even a bit of ridiculous humor in noting that the Amazon box hastily stuck under the hole to catch the falling foam insulation actually held water better than the hot tub. So what we really need is a really big Amazon box?

There is also a certain humor in knowing you married someone who lets you have crazy ideas — and run with them.

This is especially true when your crazy “big ideas” really don’t hold water.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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