South Florida Hospital News
Friday February 26, 2021
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June 2005 - Volume 1 - Issue 11
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Publisher’s Note

Getting Soaked

As any homeowner can attest, having a place to call your own can be equal parts heaven and hell. In the past few weeks, Carol and I have experienced both.

Our direct connection to the hell part, appropriately enough, is our plumbing, that intricate web of pipes that leads beneath the house and (I’m assuming), the netherworld, where Satan himself—when he tires of causing wars, pestilence and famine—just for fun decides to clog our lines.

This has introduced a new syndrome in the Felix household: fear of flushing. Symptoms include sweaty hands whenever a toilet needs to be flushed; short, quick breaths (accompanied by rapid-fire prayers) as the tank starts to empty; and, depending on the outcome, a huge sigh of relief or a blood-curdling shriek as the, uh, stuff we hoped traveled efficiently away from our home instead takes a detour and resurfaces in the shower stall.

How bad has it been? We see our plumber so often, we’re thinking of filing for custody. He’s even talking about booking a room at a nearby motel to cut down on mileage expense.

Indeed, a man’s home is his castle. But it also can be his hassle. I guess when you commit to a 40-year-old structure, such "aches and pains" should be expected and it requires a little physical therapy now and then. Just wait until it hits the 54-year mark, as I have. Talk about a need for an extreme makeover. Ty Pennington, where are you?

But it hasn’t been all bad news around the old homestead. Our Florida ranch came with a perfect backyard for a pool. So, despite all the horror stories we heard, earlier this year Carol and I decided to take the plunge, so to speak.

At the risk of jinxing us in the home stretch, my friends, I am happy to report that so far, the project has gone swimmingly. Like a Timex watch, the process has been ticking along. No doubt a big reason for this is that we (and I use that term loosely, because I meant to say Carol) did our due diligence. She perused endless Internet sites, and interviewed numerous contractors. We finally chose New Image Pools in Fort Lauderdale and I am happy to provide them with an unsolicited ringing endorsement.

Simply put, they delivered what we asked for and they promised: a beautiful pool for a reasonable price, finished on time with nary a concern or hassle.

As I write this, we’ve not actually been swimming yet (unless you count the hours we’ve spent in the shower stall with a plunger, but I digress). The pool was plastered and surfaced only recently. We’ve already spent one romantic evening together by the pool as we monitored the water’s progress, like parents with a newborn. The next morning, with the water at the proper level, we could barely restrain ourselves from cannonballing into it, but of course, we didn’t. We still have an orientation to go through (geez, this is like having a baby!) as we learn what the purpose is of all that equipment glommed onto the side of the house and how to balance the chemicals. (I knew I should have paid more attention in my high school science classes!)

Barring any complications, in a couple of days we should be splashing and paddling around. Of course, the resident pessimist (she who will remain nameless) likes to point out that we’ve not crossed the finish line on this project just yet. She muttered something about resuscitating the sprinkler system, restoring the grass, and replacing some paving stones. But, to be honest, I wasn’t really listening. Like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, I’m too busy daydreaming about enjoying my pool, sipping on some drink with a little umbrella in it, and cranking up some Jimmy Buffett.

All in all, not a bad way for this kid from Brooklyn to celebrate Father’s Day. (And while we’re on the subject, here’s a toast to all you dad’s out there. I hope your Father’s Day is as pleasant as the one I’m planning. Oh, and may your toilet always flush.)

Charles Felix, Publisher

You can reach Charles Felix at sflahospitalnews@aol.com
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