Jul 13, 2009

A little car washing leads to some simple insights into my own life.

Vehicle maintenance has never been one of my strong suits. I know how to put gas in my rig (now don’t laugh, there are some out there who have no idea how to do even this simple task). I know how to change the oil. However, this is a larger task, and the work involved is far outweighed by the simple act of paying someone to do it for me. I know how to change a tire. And in the event of a flat, I know what to do.

But that’s about as far as I really ever go with any of these endeavors. There is one more point however, that I am willing to do myself. I am willing to wash it. And vehicle washing is something I enjoy doing. I like to pull my truck up behind the house, break out some cleaning supplies and listen to some music while I clean away.

The other day was just such a day. It was somewhat sunny out, the weather was warm and I had a free afternoon that seemed like the perfect time to accomplish this task. It’s therapeutic really. Rinsing. Washing. Rinsing. Drying. Discovering the little dings and scratches that seem to have appeared from out of nowhere, previously hidden by a few weeks worth of dirt. Getting out the window cleaner and later getting into the cab and realizing I was only seeing a small portion of the road over the last few weeks. Getting out the vacuum and picking up what seemed like a yards worth of small rocks and pebbles from the floor underneath my feet. Applying the Armor All to the dashboard and seeing it return from a light gray (usually associated with dirt and dust) to the dark gray that is the actual interior. And lastly, a little Fabreeze, because I love the smell of the stuff. And when I’m done, it may not look like I just drove it off the lot but it sure looks nice and feels good.

I sure wish I could apply this kind of fastidious cleaning to other aspects of my life. But there are times when even the simplest of chores seem daunting. For example, cleaning the cat boxes. This chore, which if I were being honest is one of the most important chores around my household (just ask my three cats who think they own and run the place). If you simply let the cat boxes go for too long, the blasted cats are more than happy to leave a little note in the form of a turd somewhere close by. It’s an effective reminder.

Not long ago I woke up a little late and was therefore a little rushed in preparation for work. As I was leaving I noted the smell around the cat boxes and vowed to clean them when I got home. Once in the truck I could swear I could still smell the things, like the smell was caught in my nose or something. But it seemed a little too strong for just a simple lingering odor. No, this was stronger. So I popped on the dome light and looked down at my boots. There, sticking out from under my shoe was the source of the offending odor: a turd of a soft a squishy looking nature and a rather pungent smell. Touché, Kitty Kat. Touché. It should suffice to say I got the message, and promptly took care of business when I got home.

Other areas of particular trouble: vacuuming and dusting. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t live in a complete pigsty. The biggest problem is with a dog, and three cats, it quickly looks like I haven’t vacuumed in a month. So it requires more than semi-regular maintenance. It’s a work in progress.

On the flip side of things, once I get into a groove, I’m a machine and get a lot done (it also helps that our particular little home is on the smaller side).
So, do I have a point to all this? Not really. I suppose one could argue I am on the lazy side at times. I myself would be more of the opinion I work too much and am therefore too tired (hey, it works for me).
Other than that, this has been a simple observation on my own habits, none of which I really intend to change anytime soon.


  1. Hey, my suburban is filthy, inside and out... want me to save it for you to take care of you while you are here??? Of course, not being used to our climate, you might pass out from heat exhaustion, even at 8 a.m.!

    Remember when I got that flat on the Honda the one weekend while mom and dad were away and left us home alone? And then, you changed the tire, put on the dinky spare, and we drove to Fairfield on the freeway to the stake dance that night? I remember how upset dad was when he found out what we'd done. It's a miracle we didn't blow the spare driving it on the freeway like that!

  2. Animals are so much fun! As for cleaning, I am soooo looking forward to cleaning the rig tomorrow when we get home. Chores never stop.

  3. You two are quite a pair--I wouldn't trade you for anything!

  4. At least you enjoy cleaning your car - that's more than I can say. I think I just never inherited the cleaning gene. It's rare for me to get into that groove. I basically do minor maintenance - the cat box, the bunny pen and the dishes. And while my house is not a complete sty, it sure could be cleaner.


You went to all the trouble to get yourself here, you might as well say something about it.

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