The Zen of Power Washing

Published Date: June 16th, 2008
Category: Weekly Thought


Turns out I am a do-it-yourself stay-at-home home. In the past 3 weeks, I have been to Lowe’s or Home Depot no less than seven times. G now recognizes the Home Depot sign and although I would like to think he understands that Home Depot starts with the letter “H” due to our diligent letter practicing every morning, it is really just because he has repeatedly been there so many times in the past month.


Some children beg for candy at the check-out counter. My son begs for seed packets.


It all started with the fact that my quitting also coincided with a need for our back and front decks to be power washed and stained. As with all home repairs or jobs, we turned to Florin, our trusty contractor.* Maybe he did not have time to do it or did not have the desire (or really thought this is something we should be able to handle on our own), because the price he quoted was just too much.


I therefore turned to my home repair advisor, Handy Neighbor Neil (HN2), who proceeded to convince me this is something we could do on our own for a fraction of the cost.


Ergo, Trip One to Home Depot. Where I proceeded to buy a power washer ($99), a biodegradable wood wash ($15), and wood sealant ($25).


HN2 looked at my supplies and proclaimed,


“Dear, that sealant is incorrect. You need to buy stain. Get the Cabot brand from Lowe’s. Much better than the Thompson’s sealant.”


Ergo Trip Two to Home Depot (return incorrect sealant) and Trip One to Lowe’s (purchase correct stain, $25).


And so forth.


Interestingly enough, one would think that all this running back and forth to various home improvement chains would be tiresome. But here is what I have found—these places fascinate me. Every aisle holds some new item I never knew I absolutely needed for my home. And maybe it is because I am a single woman wandering aimlessly through the aisles with her 3-year old son or maybe it is because I am able to go there during the week, but the staff at these places now seek me out and ask me if I need help.




These adventures have also been very empowering for me. I have to admit, I was previously one of those women who would just tag along after her husband during these trips wondering if the hot dog stand was open. I had a fear of “messing things up,” so I never wanted to take on home projects. And since I was working, I frankly did not have the time. Now that I am jobless and have a son who still takes a three-hour nap in the afternoon, I have no excuse.


So today I power washed my front deck. And I have to say, there was something so tranquil and Zen-like about the whole thing. It really was not complicated and there was a simple beauty in watching the dirt wash away slowly as I rhythmically moved my trusty power washer over each individual board.


And now I know that there is no need to pay for a yoga class any time I need to center myself. I will just move onto our windows.


*Florin the contractor is fabulous, if anyone is looking for someone to finish a basement, a bathroom, or just help with overall plumbing needs. He is also honest, as he was one of the few people who told me I was crazy to quit my job during a recession.





This entry was posted on Monday, June 16th, 2008 at 7:44 am and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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