We are about to become first-time grandparents. The projected date of arrival is just after Thanksgiving, and our home has been chosen as the site for my daughter’s baby shower. This is to be no minor event. Friends, in-laws, and who-knows-who-else will descend on our home on an upcoming Saturday to celebrate this joyous event and bring gifts to help my daughter and her husband raise their new child.
Certainly, this is an event to justify cleaning, trimming, and painting to get the ole home site ship-shape. My wife has already been busy organizing, reorganizing, and even discarding unneeded items. As to be expected, it is important to my wife that our home be as presentable as possible for those who attend the shower. So this weekend it was time for me to take heed and really begin doing my part. And having received a nice pressure washer from my son and daughter-in-law for Father’s Day, I was looking forward to endearing myself to my wife while I tried out my new toy.
Now I think that most people would agree that cleaning the face of gutters and trim, and washing windows, would seem to be among the most basic of chores that consume those precious Saturdays and Sundays for homeowners. How hard can it be, right? But this weekend, it would not be that easy for me. Getting things organized and arranged went well enough. Pressure washer, bucket, cleaning products, and even a makeshift brush on a pole to reach the gutters from the ground were gathered up and positioned.
Things started getting out of hand when I moved to the front of the house. I had no sooner gotten everything moved and started cleaning when there was suddenly no water coming from the pressure washer. The problem was quickly diagnosed as a split in the garden hose. Great. I knew I had a repair kit, and the split was only about 5 feet from the end of the hose. I could write an entire chapter for a book on making this repair, but to make a long story short, let me just say that it took three different trips to the garage to get the right tools to cut the hose and attach the new end.
While making one of those trips to the garage, I realized I would need a step ladder to reach the tops of the windows. So I brought the ladder around and laid it in the grass. Having a lifelong affliction with absentmindedness, in the process of repairing the hose, I forgot all about the ladder. When it came time to reposition the pressure washer, I picked it up and started walking backwards, pulling the hose and power cord as I walked. I was mentally patting myself on the back for repairing the hose when my reverie was shattered by what I first perceived as the pending shift in the Earth’s magnetic poles I’ve been reading about.
What was really happening was that as I walked backwards, my right foot struck something, causing me to make a quick step back with my left foot. That “something” was of course the step ladder. And that quick step was just enough to catch the other edge of the ladder. Now, with even the most basic understanding of physics, I’ll bet you can guess what happened next. Yes, the ladder began to stand on edge. As I attempted to catch my balance, the edge just under me was coming up, catching my right foot and preventing me from taking that badly needed next step to stop my fall. By this time, the momentum of my upper body had far exceeded the lower. Physics was working. I even remember thinking to myself that I was going to fall and there was not one single thing I could do about it. This was going to be bad. Really bad . . .
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Check back next weekend to read part two and learn what happens to Rick during his trials of window washing.
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Rick January lives in Georgia with Stella, his wife of 40 years. His first children’s picture book, Come Out To The Garden,was released earlier this year and is available in paperback or hardcover. Come Out To The Garden is written in a rhyme and teaches kids the value of hard work and rewards that come along with tending to the garden with a loved one. It is also available to download as an eBook. Click here to visit Rick’s website: ComeOutToTheGardenBook.com.