The Perpetual Anniversary Gift

Fish PondEver since Ed and I were married 37 years ago, we have always done something special for our anniversary.  A lot of years we would buy something big for the house that we wanted and we always planned our family vacations around that time, too.  About 15 years ago on our anniversary, Ed sneaked off and bought a goldfish pond kit that I’d been wanting.  If he could’ve for seen the future, he may have re-thought that purchase…

Neither of us knew anything about building a fishpond or maintaining one, but we jumped in with all four of our feet!  Ed spent hours digging and shaping the pond under my careful guidance.  We got the liner put in and filled the hole with water.  The kit had a pretty little fountain that sprayed in the middle of the pond.  We bought bags and bags of river rocks to put around the edges of the pond.  I also bought tropical houseplants and planted around the edges.  I just loved it! 

We needed rocks to edge our pond, so we spent our family vacation to the mountains gathering large rocks from the mountain streams at Helen, Ga.  You aren’t supposed to do that, but we only took a large cooler full… or maybe two…We also gathered a few granite rocks from the campsite at Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Ga.  I wanted my rocks to have meaning…We also gathered some very flat rocks to build a waterfall with.

We made it home with the rocks…do you know how much a cooler full of rocks weighs… placed them around the edges of the pond and Ed built a little waterfall.  The waterfall turned out to be the most challenging thing to do.  I lost count of how many times Ed rebuilt it before he got the water to trickle like we wanted it to.

The fish in the pond grew quickly.  I just bought regular and fan-tailed goldfish from Wal-mart.  They seemed to thrive in the little pond.  Of course the water didn’t stay clear very long before it turned green with algae.  That’s just a fact of life in a pond in the summertime.  The fish didn’t seem to mind.  Fall came and all of  the leaves from the trees in our yard all tried to blow in the pond.  We got them out the best that we could.  Winter came that year with a vengeance.  Our little fish pond froze over, but we could see the fish swimming under the ice.  That was a sight for us since we live in the south!  I never would’ve believed it, but the cold didn’t bother the fish at all.  In fact, they like the cold weather better than the hot weather!

Around this time I’d tried to buy life insurance at work and was pro-rated because of a health issue.  I’d paid a deposit and got a refund when I found out how high the premiums would be.  I used the refund to buy myself a concrete bench to sit on and watch the fish.  It was such a relaxing atmosphere with the little waterfall and the fountain in the middle of the pond.  It was at a time in my life when I needed that relaxation.

By spring, some of the fish had grown pretty large.  Comets and fantails don’t grow as quickly as koi, but they grow according to the size of their habitat.  Some of the fish were  easily three fingers wide and just beautiful!

On a Saturday, late in spring,  I went out to the pond one morning and discovered ALL of the fish were sick.  They were trying to swim, but were all going crooked and some were belly up.  I noticed that the water was covered with blossom petals from a nearby plum tree.  I couldn’t imagine that petals would make the fish sick.  We took all of the fish out of the pond and even changed the water in the pond, but all of the fish died.  Later we found out that Ed’s daddy had sprayed that plum tree for insects while we were at work.  He didn’t think about the spray drifting into the water of the pond.  I don’t know how much spray drifted from the sprayer, but the petals were covered with spray and fell into the pond.  Ed’s daddy felt just terrible(and so did I).  That was the last year that the old plum tree or ANY tree in the yard got sprayed.  To be continued….

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Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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