I am not a ‘physical’ person. No, I don’t mean that I am imaginary, or a ghost or something. I’m just not good at applying a plan to get something physical done, made, or fixed. MAKING a plan is easy for me; doing the work is not.
I believe that every person is blessed with certain talents. Some people think I am a writer and of that I am still uncertain. (The day one of my books hits the New York Times best seller list some of that uncertainty may disappear for me. But, even of that, I am uncertain.)
My point here is that not everyone is a plumber, a builder, or an electrician. My proof is mostly in our basement, where my attempts at plumbing, building, and electrifying are on sad display. (We recently had some ‘professional’ plumbing done down there. That day convinced me that part of a plumber’s training is in learning how to not laugh out loud.) My repair work is proof that necessity really is the mother of invention, even if that invention includes hundred-year-old drainpipes patched with duct tape, electrical tape, and gallon sized plastic bottles. (I know about being up to code, and that ain’t it.) Hence, the recent professional plumbing job.
My brother Steve is the exact opposite of me. He can build anything out of nothing, and it will work and look great. If you tell Steve that your home needs a deck or a ramp, he will ask you a few questions and finish the job by sundown. Well, at least by the second sundown. Years ago, I had a habit of writing poetry in my spare time. The next time Steve and his wife Dot visited us he presented me with a beautiful mantle clock that he had made for me out of pieces of hardwood from an old building in his area. That was many years ago and that clock was, and still is, beautiful. When Steve gave it to me, he simply said: “This is MY poetry.” I could not agree more.
So, getting back to my problem with applying ideas to achieve physical results, a while ago I decided to pressure wash the house. We live on a busy Barre street, and road dust just covers our vinyl siding. I had put the job off for a little while. Actually, Lorna had gotten me a really nice pressure washer three summers ago and last week it was still in the box. I guess that’s not a little while unless you’re God or a planet. I am neither.
Monday was the day I would finally assault the outside of our house with soapy, powerful jets of water. That was, at least, if it didn’t look like rain and if my hangnails were not acting up, or if I couldn’t think of some other reason to leave the machine in the cellar.
After getting the directions out of the box and realizing that this gift from my wife was more complicated than I had thought, I forged ahead and eventually figured out what I needed to do. Did you know that pressure washers, even smaller electric ones like mine, come with about a dozen parts and pieces, nozzles, and hoses that you have to figure out before you can even begin? That thing was like a puzzle to me, and I HATE puzzles and putting things together! (Where’s Steve when you need him? Oh ya, Florida.) If Lorna had bought me one of those BIG pressure washers with a large motor, or worse, a gas engine, that would have spelled disaster for my nerves and probably for my house.
Eventually I was on the side lawn with my new toy and had the garden hose hooked to it, the electrical cord plugged into the extension cord, and the wand hose and attachments… attached. I also actually got the little detergent sucker-upper hose in my detergent jug and was ready to begin.
So, here we go! (Or, here I went.) I found the on/off switch and turned it to ON. You guessed it. Nothing happened. I just stood there sweating in a slinky-like tangle of hoses and electrical cords, and nothing had happened. Freeing myself from the water-world snare I was in, I searched the attachments out and realized that the extension cord was not plugged into the outlet behind the house. Duhhh.
Well, that was last Monday. By Tuesday afternoon I had succeeded in pressure washing all four sides of the house, the front porch, the lawn mower, the snow blower, my bucket hat, and several tee shirts and pairs of socks. The house now looks great, at least until the summer sun and traffic arrive. The pressure washer is back on a shelf in the cellar. I will soon forget it is there … if I’m lucky.