Our deck had become treacherously slippery, and so this past weekend, I borrowed a power washer from my dad. My husband got started, and I stared out the back door, mesmerized by what I was seeing: years’ worth of dirt and algae and grime stripping away like green paint, revealing the beautiful wood grain of the deck underneath.
I was amazed at how dirty the deck had become without our even noticing it (and even after we saw the algae begin to appear, it took a long time for us to act on it). What I had thought of as merely grayed and weathered turned out to be filthy and gross.
Pretty soon, I went outside and asked for a turn at cleaning. For a brief moment, I was afraid it would be like Tom Sawyer and the white-washed fence, that I would soon regret asking for a turn at the work that looked like fun. But it was a cool, overcast day, and the work was so satisfying in an immediate way that I power washed the deck longer than I expected. My husband and I agreed that the work offered a zen-like quality that many chores do not. Continue reading