Aug 26, 2013

Before and After

Sometimes a decision made in haste and fueled with a tiny bit of anger will get you to places where you really don't want to be.  Sunday at 11am, a person who was scheduled to pressure wash the patio and front entrance area of the house did not show, did not call.  I convinced Cindy we should go to the Home Depot and rent a pressure wash machine and by 12:30pm I started on a project that I estimated would take 2 hours, 3 at the most and that is where my lessons began.                                                 
I am strong, able and I love water. The machine was fairly quiet and easy to move around so I began the back and forth motions going over the areas that were in great need of the wash.  Since late May, we've had rain almost everyday and with shade in the afternoon the patio was in bad shape.  At first it was fun: figuring out how to hold the spray gun, how to balance, how fast to move back and forth, how to keep the hose behind me, how to keep water flowing off the patio or towards the drain, I was hooked.  The sun was bright and the day was hot, perfect conditions. 

Then I transitioned to being entertained by the patterns I was making with the movement of the spray; the power of the pressure coming from the thin spray gun was almost scary. 

Sometimes the lines I made were perfectly straight, sometimes I tried to trace letters, I tried to make the outline of a big heart, that did not come out like I expected.  I was surprised over and over at the actual color of the stone on the patio vs. what I got accustomed to seeing over the past few months.  It was like a brand new patio was being unveiled right before my eyes.  

As hour one went into two or three, I thought about pressure and patterns, and pressure, and how with such a simple movement, (or shift in perspective) I could make significant changes on the patio...  the same can happen in life.  

Pressure, there is all kinds, the kind we put on ourselves, the kind that comes with judgement, competition, bad arteries, fear, the kind that comes with the power of actual water, bodies of water, waves, rivers, oceans. I kept thinking how one second there was months and years of dirt, grime, mold, (whatever all the yucky stuff was) and then clean, shiny, colors of stone I forgot existed, showed up in an instant. 

I thought how our own patios in our heads and hearts and lives can be cleared, shifted, moved - for some the power or pressure comes from faith in God, for some it is the proof in numbers or statistics, for others, wiping the patio of our lives clean is an act of forgiveness, or letting go, of looking forward and not back. We can all do this, sometimes it is a planned scheduled shift in our lives, sometimes it is impromptu and all good. 

Sunday I was in stride, going from curiosity, to making patterns, to thinking about Life, God and the Universe all because of my new adventure with a pressure wash machine project. I swear I am not making any of this up.  

Then I had a break.  From about 2pm to 4pm, I stopped completely. The break was key because it gave me time to gain back energy and my interest and commitment  to finish this work in one day and take the machine back before 8pm.  And I did.  It was all good.  When I did the front part of the house, one of the neighbors, Parviz, came over and supervised me for a bit, gave me tips on what I should be doing. 

After the wash 
Soon it was all over and the machine was taken back to Home Depot. I came home and had one of the coldest beers ever. The brand is Neuborg, they come in deep dark blue bottles, they are tasty.  

Maddie and Morgan were happy to be out of their kennels and of course came out to inspect their play area.  They seemed to be OK after a few sniffs here and there. 

I won't be doing this type of project anytime soon.  I glad the patio is clean for at least a couple of years.