Saturday, April 23, 2011

Never Again

Good morning, Friends!

Does this sound familiar: “We will never do that again”?

I have said “never again” to painting the house, never again to refinishing the hard wood floors.  This week we went through another “never again” experience.

We have over fifty gold fish swimming with our beautiful koi and you know what they do in the water. Let me tell you what happens when the pond filter isn't working properly. Sewer smell, sludge, and algae happens. This month the fish appeared to be in a stupor because they wouldn't leave the bottom of the pond. We could barely see them in the thick, dark water. That's a bad sign.

We knew their hours were numbered so we had to do something fast. Drain the pond and add fresh water. Doesn't that sound easy?

It took two hours to catch the fish. We stored them in a huge plastic fish tub which was so graciously loaned to us by the Eugene business, Downs By The Pond.

My husband Craig used our sump pump to drain the pond.  The pump eventually lost suction because of the shallow water, so the shop vac finished the job.

With the water removed, we could see the thick brown slim and green algae on the bottom of the pond, the walls, in the potted plants. It covered everything! This was a job for a pressure washer. So I was putting water in the pond with the pressure washing while Craig was pumping it out of the pond.  The pond is four and one-half feet deep and about eighteen by twenty feet wide.

Most of the plants needed more pea gravel and some had outgrown their pots and needed to be re-potted. So now was the time for that job as well.

All this was done between rain and a hail storm. As usual here in the valley, there was a little sunshine in between the storms.

We finished the twelve-hour cleaning job just before dark. We covered the fish in their temporary home with a net and took our tired bodies back to the house. Refilling the pond with water, which would take about four hours, would have to wait until morning .

The next day just after dawn, we returned to the garden to start filling the pond with fresh water. Guess what we saw on the ground by the plastic fish tub. Two five-pound koi fish. We think they decided to take a walk in the early morning hours. They were not flopping around or gasping for air. Their gills barely moved. Craig almost threw them in the garbage, but he decided to pray for them and put them back in the water. About fifteen minutes later, they were swimming around like nothing had happened.

If you have a sick cat or dog, Craig would be glad to pray for them.

Our aching backs and arms told us that cleaning the pond was one of those “never again” jobs. At least not for another twenty years.