Sometimes I dread going home to visit my family. I get along with everyone. It’s not that. There are no feuds or spats that mar our relationship. It seems that my father finds all kinds of chores for me to do every single time. It could be cleaning the garbage, the inside of the stove, sorting through the attic, or carrying box of giveaway clothing to the garage for later donation. Once I had to organize his fishing gear and tool shed. I try to hide out, foolishly thinking he won’t see me if I am clever enough, but inevitably he does. He has a laundry list of items from the most demanding to the most trivial. There are at least ten things every time. He figures if he starts big, I will want to get it over with faster and I won’t poop out on him when we get to the small stuff. And if I do give out, the stuff at the end of the list isn’t that important anyway. How can there be so many things to do? Doesn’t he do anything at all himself? I suspect not. I am as busy as he is and my time in precious. He goes on about young people having responsibilities to the family, but somehow to me that doesn’t apply if you don’t live at home. Don’t you become truly independent at some point? He goes on about duty and making good use of one’s free time, etc. I don’t have that much free time, especially when I am in his house. He adds that there is great joy in helping others. He has every excuse and line in the book.
This time on the list was to clean the BBQ grill, the patio furniture, the garage floor, and the garden walkways. Sounds like a job for a power washer to me. That will make it go much faster, so I immediately set about finding one. First I surveyed the neighbors with no luck. Then I trudged over to the local hardware store. Of course they had many. The problem is that I knew if I gave my father his own power washer, he would find more things to do with it—by me—every single time I dropped by. I had to cave in at the point and acquiesce. I was going to wash the heck of every dirty area around the house and yard. Okay, the best power washers do make short work of everything and I was done in no time. I was pretty impressed, so much so, that I decided to tackle a few things later that day around my own apartment.
What started out as a protest not to waste my Saturday became a most productive day. I felt pretty good about how much could be done. Even the grill which seemed beyond impossible came out squeaky clean. You just adjust the spray head, turn on the water, and whoosh. The job is done.