Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

I love aphorisms, even the trite ones like “good fences make good neighbors.” There is a kernel of truth in them all. I make lists of the ones I find on line. It is a little idiosyncrasy I have. Who knows when you will use them, maybe in a blog! I certainly have good neighbors so the fence must be intact. The fence keeps us apart and respects our privacy. I actually live in an apartment building so there are many residents on all sides and sooner or later you come to know each and every one.

We often meet on the patio where there is a communal grill and we discuss how much fun it would be to have a pool like most apartments. But alas, we do not. A hot tub would be a close second and there is just enough space to accommodate a medium-sized one. We decided to take up a collection and pool our money and see what we could afford to buy. An acrylic or modular unit would be prohibitive but we have found that you can get an inflatable version for a fair price and it even comes with a heating unit that will not damage the material. It is a grown up version of a kiddie pool. For a little more money you can get spray jet attachments you can rig up to a hose, but we can only afford to be modest at the moment.

We found a nice inflatable hot tub at a local vendor. It was on special and so we had more than enough money donated by interested residents to cover the cost and include some detachable trays for drinks. It fit in a van and all we needed was an air compressor. We inaugurated the hot tub one summer night. As many of us as could fit piled in for a warm soak. We had chilled bottles of wine and snacks at the ready and it was a great social gathering. You can have your grilled dinner before or after. Our only concern is protecting the hot tub from vandals who might want to poke a hole or two inside.

We keep it filled with water and have a plastic tarp covering to keep it clean. This is so no one has the job of maintenance. Eventually we may have to take turns. There is one neighbor who complains, stating “it’s not my job.” There is always one bad apple in every group. We definitely need to erect a fence between his apartment unit and the hot tub. Fortunately, everyone else is a good sport. You do get branches and leaves on the hot tub cover and such garden debris can be annoying. So it was a successful communal venture and we are making new friends—maybe minus that one crabby guy. When the building owner sees how great the hot tub is, maybe he will see fit to install a more expensive permanent one.