The little pool house is a wonderfully utilitarian structure. It was designed to protect our delicate aging skin from sun exposure — a big deal since Buck’s dermatologist offered to put in a drive-through window just for him to get treatments on the fly. As a teenager, he was a lifeguard on Pensacola Beach and Baby Oil broiling was all the rage. The little pool has a heater, too, for shoulder season swimming. It’s a short walk from the main house down a sloping sidewalk, and all these years it has stood alone, spartan, with no softening of shrubs or flowers.
Not anymore. The gardenia was first. Now it has the company of a glorious Confederate jasmine, sometimes called a “fence eater” because of its talent for covering up an ugly chain link fence quickly. It is medium-sized now, but tendrils have already taken hold of the fence and are racing in all directions to cover the chain link.
The Asiatic Jasmine groundcover, hanging ferns and bougainvillea under the stairs by the sidewalk leading to the little pool hint of possibility. Buck agrees, and is going to help me make a plant bed around two sides of the enclosed lap pool.
So already, with these baby steps, I’m enticed to the pool several times a day. And in the evening, I walk down the sidewalk and stand between the gardenia and jasmine, taking in their sweet fragrance, inhaling deeply, focusing my mind. This possibility was here all the time, but I never saw it until we almost sold the house and then didn’t.