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The “Pond”

One summer when I was a kid, my brother and I decided that we needed a pond.  I really don’t know what made us decide that we needed a pond, but it seemed like a great idea when we came up with it.  Our house was right next door to a vacant lot that we had to take care of, so it seemed okay with us to dig ourselves a pond.

We got a couple of shovels, went out to the middle of the weeds and started digging.  Now, in my mind, I had the idea of a huge pond with lots of fish, frogs, and lily pads…and maybe even a fountain or waterfall.

A beautiful pond in Duinrell, Netherlands

What we were digging in was really just a vacant lot…lots of weeds and rocks.  But that didn’t deter us.  We were young and had nothing else to do. So we dug like mad men…for about 15 minutes or so.  We didn’t have a very big hole yet, but we decided that we needed fill the pond and see what would happen.  Now, summer in Eastern Washington where we lived was hot.  And the ground hadn’t seen any type of water for awhile.

Well, needless to say (wait…that phrase means I don’t have to say it, but that wouldn’t make for a very good story, so I will say it anyway), the water didn’t form any kind of a pond at all.  In fact it didn’t even puddle a small bit.  It just ran down into the ground.  Hmm…what to do now.  Oh, let’s just dig it a bit bigger and that will help.  So, we dug it a bit bigger and then tried some more water.  Same result…big surprise, right?

That evening my father saw the “pond” and wondered why we were digging holes.  We told him of our plan and I am pretty sure that he thought that we were crazy.  He told us to quit wasting water.  We needed some sort of a liner to keep the water in the pond.  Some plastic would work.

Holes is a great movie!

The next day we found enough plastic and lined our pond with it.  Now, keep in mind that we didn’t have one big sheet of plastic, but about 4 sheets that we had to overlap.  We used some big rocks to hold them down.  And then we filled up our pond.  YES!  Success!  There was water staying in the pond.  We left the hose running and went off to ride our bikes.  We came back a bit later expecting to see our pond full and maybe even a bit of wildlife in it.  (I have no idea where wild frogs and such would come from, but I hoped anyway).  Sadly, our pond was only about as full as when we had left it.  Go figure that our patchwork plastic didn’t hold water.

That was enough of a disappointment for us to give up on our pond idea.  We put the hose away and went back to riding our bikes.  In our mind, the failed attempt was over and we moved on.  But, my dad didn’t think our project was finished.  He sent us back out there with our shovels to fill the hole that we dug.  It was sad for me to have to give up on my dream of my very own pond, but deep down, I felt relieved that our failure would be covered up.

Someday I hope to live in a house with a nice yard that will include not only a pond but a waterfall as well.

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