Last night, a miracle happened. For the first time in two years, I washed my truck. I confess that I think about washing the little gray vehicle on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there is a distinct difference between thinking and doing. I promise myself that someday, when I have some time, I’ll get out there with a hose and sponge. But someday never comes. So with each gust of wind, my truck gets a little grayer. With each rain storm that “flame job” created by the rust streaks grows more vivid.
Truth be told, I will never have enough “free time”. While my schedule changes semi-regularly, it seems that just as soon as a block of several hours has opened up, they’re filled again. Work, school, family, recreation – all vie for my attention, creating a delightful tug-of-war between priorities and hobbies, a palpable tension between what I need to do and what I want to do.
I admit that I’m usually pretty good at maintaining the requisite balance. (Though there are a few who would argue that the line between work and hobbies is, in my case, rather a thin one.) In the case of housework, however… let’s just say that anything involving the removal of dust doesn’t top the charts. After all, dust is a recurring enemy and, after years of watching my mother’s perpetual battle against it, I have determined that any concerted effort to remove it is really just an exercise in futility.
So washing the little vehicle (which I once christened “Poetic”) gets pushed to the background. The “free time” fills up once more with new subjects to study, new opportunities to serve or volunteer, new friends, and new adventures. And the old truck that gets me there gets ignored.
Last night, however, all of that changed. Despite the wind and the heat, I gathered up my courage, a bottle of soap, and my shower shoes and headed not-so-gaily into the driveway.
I admit that I had hoped to find a good set of speakers to plug my iPod into. The idea of blasting Renee Fleming singing opera at about the same volume as the neighbor’s rock music seemed appealing. (If I have to listen to them, why shouldn’t they have to listen to me?) And it would have been a nice distraction as well. But there were none, so I plugged in some ear buds and set to work.
For an hour, I scrubbed each surface, working hard to remove the rust streaks and filth. (I discovered that my gray pickup is actually white!) I cleaned the interior and vacuumed the seats. And for a finishing touch, I applied a layer of protective wax. In theory, I believe that my actions will serve to prevent any damage to the rust which I was unable to remove. In reality, it justified the name of my little vehicle. Yes, for the first time in two years, I waxed “Poetic”.