The first time I saw the pond I fell in love with it. Layce and I weren’t living together yet. She told me she had a pond in the backyard and sent me a photo. It looked gorgeous.
The following summer she gladly handed over the care and feeding of the pond. I felt special. I thought this was such a loving sacrifice. Here was this beautiful pond and she was essentially giving it to me. I had always wanted a pond.
I drained the winter sludge out. It wasn’t fun but in the summer I would hear the water tinkling over the rocks and it would all be worth it. I repainted it, sealed up the cracks, and installed the pump. Voila! My dream was complete.
Then during a deluge I discovered that all the worms in the yard somehow ended up in the pond. Next came the frog eggs. Emma cried as I committed tadpole genocide and screamed that I was a murderer. Then came the mosquito larvae-no tears were shed about that.
Year two-I ordered plants online and snails to go eco-friendly. We couldn’t use chlorine to keep it clean but the snails were supposed to do that job. No one told me about the prolific reproductive abilities of snails. So I figured we had a lot of snails so that meant the pond should be sparkling.
Some of the online plants grew but not like the photo on the internet showed. To add further indignation the snails were lazy. Every week the pond got browner and by the end of summer it stank like a septic tank. Then the pump failed. Luckily, it was September so I drained the pond and ordered a new pump for next year.
Year three-drain, repaint, chlorine and f—the plants. I stood out there glaring at the pond. Layce came out to help me put in new tubing. I attached the tubing to the pump only to discover it was too long. In the process of removing it from the pump I broke the attachment.
“I hate this pond. Did you build this pond? Why is it even here?” I glared at her.
“It came with the house, I swear,” Layce said as she gazed at the strewn pump parts, tubing and her red-faced spouse.
We found more tubing that proved an okay substitute. She fed it through the holes drilled in the rocks. Things went smoother except the pump basket with the filter in it kept floating.
“This pond is the bane of my existence. Ponds are nothing but work and they’re stupid. We should fill it in.”
“It would take tons of dirt,” Layce said.
She was right of course. We were stuck with the wretched thing. “In our next house we will not have a pond.”
I glared at the floating pump basket.
“Just put rocks around it and wedge it against the side. That’s what I used to do.”
I narrowed my eyes at her. “I thought you were being so nice me when you let me have the pond. You KNEW what a pain in the ass it was.”
“I just thought it was time to spread the joy,” she said.
I picked up a rock. She backed away. I’ll admit it crossed my mind but instead I got down on the ledge of the pond and wedged the pump instead.
And then I slipped and fell in the pond. I stood there fully clothed including shoes in a freezing cold pond up to my knees. I used a string of obscenities that will not be repeated here to protect the innocent.
Layce looked at me with big eyes. And to give her credit she did control herself until I laughed and then we both laughed.
I stood there ruminating on the circumstances that had brought me to this moment in time. What could I have done differently? How could this have been prevented? “I cannot believe this just happened. I have never even come close to falling in the pond. I hate this pond.”
Layce broke the spell. “Do you need help getting out?”
“Yes, please. I think the pond gods may have taken offense at my behavior.”
“Perhaps,” she said as I dripped and squeaked all the way to the back door.
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