Sunday, September 06, 2009

Lessons From A Driveway? And A Dictionary?

One of the problems in our modern mechanized, automated, streamlined and computerized society may be that some of the olden days' chances for lengthy times to think, have evaporated.

Guys used to wash and wax cars regularly. By the time you got out the hose and mitt, washed and chamoised it off, then turned to the cleaner to remove the oxidized paint (yes .. you had to do that separately in the 40's, 50's and 60's), and finally applied the paste wax and buffed it to a shine, you'd spent 4 or 5 hours at it. And since it didn't require a lot of thought, that was a good time to reflect, ponder, consider, and decide.

Nowadays, car paint shines forever, and we run'er thru the automated deal at the gas station every couple of weeks, and we're probably talking on the cell phone when we do. So not a lot of time for creative thinking.

We have to set aside time to do it.

And the kids? How do they learn that? Instead of creating playthings out of cardboard boxes, or building dams out of dirt in the firebreak around the fields we used to play around when it rained, kids play video games or go to little league or dance class or martial arts this or that.

It's a changed world, and not all the improvements have made us better.

Not the case this week, at Chandapine Circle. No siree .. I've been pressure washing the driveway. After a little creative thinking got the thing started ( I hadn't used it in 18 or 20 years..) I've been sitting or standing around, blasting yards and yards of concrete with 4 gallons of 3500 PSI water, every minute. It's pretty spectacular. And boring. But I've learned some interesting things, which may have spiritual overtones (like I said before .. I like Proverbs 3:5-6).

F'rinstance.....

I did half of the apron by the garage doors on Tuesday. Did the other half today, and I noticed that what was clean Tuesday, had accumulated some more dirt already. And, no matter how many times I went over the concrete cleaning it, there was still some more dirt. It was like .. the more I cleaned it, the more dirt I found.

Hmmm.

Once I started cleaning it, I couldn't believe how dirty it was. The bigger the clean patch grew, the worse the rest of it looked. So I knew I was going to have to keep at it until I was done. The job just won't be finished until then. Now, I know it's not going to be done all at once, and while the machine would run until it was all finished, I probably wouldn't.

I'm dedicated, but not that dedicated.

I noticed another thing, too. Some of the stains had been there so long that, even after I'd thoroughly removed the offending substance, it still left a mark. Hmmm....

It wasn't that my driveway was any worse than anyone else's. It looked as good as anyone's, but I'd bought this Pressure Washer 20 years ago, and hadn't run it after I got things clean way back then. It wasn't hard to see it was dirty again, but I didn't do anything about it until I felt guilty for having this swell machine and here my driveway was still dirty.

I guess if I want to be a truly baptistic driveway owner, when I'm finished, I'll have to go knock on all my neighbors' doors, and tell them their driveway is dirty. I'm sure they can see my driveway and how clean it is, but I don't think we're supposed to wait until some inner conviction comes upon them, are we?

On the other hand, maybe I should be a good neighbor, and love my neighbors, and maybe they'll want to know the reason why my driveway is different from theirs. Maybe I should always be ready to give a reason .. when that inner conviction does come upon them.

Perhaps I should re-read all the instructions that came with the pressure washer. It might be covered in there somewhere.

Speaking of my 13.5 horsepower Subaru-Engined Coleman pressure washer, I noticed the model name while I was using it. It's a Powermate. I haven't looked it up, but let's see what M-W online says about that. There might be some spiritual analogies, or something.....

Main Entry: 1pow·er:
1 a (1) : ability to act or produce an effect.....
2 a : possession of control, authority, or influence over others ....
3 a : physical might ....


Hmmm ... looking further:

  • Main Entry: 3as·so·ciate
  • 1 : one associated with another: as a : partner, colleague b : companion, comrade

    • Main Entry: 1com·pan·ion
    • 1 : one that accompanies another : comrade, associate; also : one that keeps company with another

    Thanks, Merriam-Webster Online; this thing just keeps getting better. And my personal Power Mate keeps getting more to clean.....

1 Comments:

At 3:57 PM, September 22, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

Thanks for that part not believing how dirty it is and the part about how the bigger the clean part got, the dirtier the rest of it looked.

I sometimes get really discouraged looking at the dirty parts...without realizing that the only reason I can see the dirty parts so clearly is because of the cleaning that's taking place. :-)

Melanie

 

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