A day in the life of the pools

Posted on Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:30pm

By Tracy Poyser

Sunday Regulars Can you think of anything more relaxing than floating on your back in your very own sun-kissed pool all by yourself (or rarely with more than one other swimmer), looking up into a deep blue sky and puffy clouds framed by the pure white, upward zigzag pattern of our Malibu East balconies, with a gentle breeze off the lake on a hot summer morning? I sure can’t – and I keep wondering why more of our residents don’t join us for the all-too-brief pool season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but almost always extended to late September or early October or whenever it becomes too cold to swim.

From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., a pool attendant is on duty to check pool tags and generally keep an eye out, especially when there are kids around (accompanied by a responsible adult, of course!). But, the pool deck is open at 6 a.m. for people who enjoy a swim before heading out for work.

Now graced with a beautiful, new wooden deck and three large, cream-colored tulip sun umbrellas in the southeast corner, our generously spaced, enclosed pool deck is reminiscent of a tropical resort. Three large planters filled with colorful blooming plants add to that mood. There’s never a shortage of regular or low pool chairs and loungers with adjustable backs, all purchased new last year and extremely comfortable.

All three pools are always heated to a pleasant temperature. Our deep lap pool (ranging from six to ten feet deep) sometimes feels marginally cooler than the intermediate one (three to six feet deep), and the cute, round kiddie splashing pool gets mellow and warm from the sun. Since I’m one of the intrepid regular swimmers, I’m happy that I never have to wait for a lane in our lap pool, which accommodates three swimmers at a time. Just so you know, all pools and surrounding deck space are in sunlight from sunrise to about 12:30 p.m., and then again from around 2:30 p.m. to late afternoon/early evening. And, the lights around the pool enclosure and under water make swimming at night, until 10 p.m., quite magical.

A day in the life of our pool deck starts at 6 a.m. when the gate opens for those intrepid souls who enjoy an aquatic workout before the real workday. One of the great things about our pools is that they are always clean and well-maintained. From 7 to about 8 a.m., our maintenance guys give the entire pool deck area a thorough cleaning: Water filters, additives and temperatures are checked and adjusted, and the furniture is straightened and rearranged around the perimeter. The concrete deck is hosed down, and all debris cleaned from the water. You’d be surprised how many flying objects land in the water after those frequent overnight storms, from tree branches to balcony plants and even lightweight furniture.

Winds can be interesting! One time I had put my towel, beach robe and other paraphernalia next to the pool on a low chair so I’d have them handy when getting out of the pool, and the entire lot – including chair – got dumped in the water by a sudden wind gust. As luck would have it, a fellow swimmer dived right down and lifted the chair and the rest up and out. Turned out he used to do deep-sea rescue diving. So, when there are whitecaps on the pools, better to stay inside.

The pool water is always heated to a very comfortable 75-80 degrees, great for serious swimming or just to splash around. And, the storage area next to the stairs to the pool deck holds a bunch of swimming aids. The multi-colored foam rolls and water weights are great for kids, learners and more tentative swimmers.

If you’re retired or have a day off, you’ll have the pool almost to yourself, especially during the mid-to-late morning hours when the sun is at its best. I enjoy swimming in the deep pool for 45 minutes at a time and then just relax for another half hour before heading back up to work on my photography or do chores. Our neighbor Carol Ronen detaches from her busy political office by just swimming gently and floating in the deep end of the intermediate pool. Carolyn Bowyer and her husband, Michael Assim – never without his sun hat – practically live poolside five hours a day until Labor Day, when they take off for Michael’s native Greece. Judy Barahal will nip down from her home office for a few energetic laps and some relaxing reading anytime she gets frustrated with her computer, or just to spend time with friends.

Judy is also a charter member of the lively weekend pool regulars, who congregate without fail in the northeast corner late Saturday and Sunday mornings. She’s joined by Susan, Kevin, Charlie, Donna, Amy and anyone who wants to pull over a lawn chair and join in for some neighborly conversations, read, or just listen and perhaps doze off. They’re currently pondering the idea of turning the new corner deck and umbrella area into a tiki bar (just kidding – that bunch probably had too much sun). Amy actually christened the pool with her six- and eight-year-old granddaughters on opening day, when it was almost freezing. Singer and pianist Bob Solone cherishes his poolside relaxation time after late-night gigs, often with a good book.

Our little kiddie pool gets a nice workout almost any time when the sun is out, with tiny future Olympians in sun hats splashing about with their toys and squealing with joy, lovingly watched by mom or dad.

Mid-to-late afternoons seem to attract the younger generation, so there’s a bit more splashing and playing, but I’ve rarely had to ask kids to move out of my lane during lap swimming. And, as mentioned earlier, nighttime is magical – the water seems even mellower, there are not many people out, and looking up at the moon and our lit-up condo tower can’t fail to make you feel lucky indeed. By the way, everyone agreed that having an outdoor pool facility was a big factor in their buying decision, which bodes well for our property values overall.

So, enjoy some resort time this summer – grab a book or your iPod with earphones, turn your pool chair toward the lake, gaze out at blue waves, sailboats, kayaks and gulls, get to know some neighbors, or just float on your back and let your worries and tension drift away. Our own little tropical paradise is just an elevator ride away, and you’ll forget that you’re anywhere near a big city!