An overdue household project leads to more work than expected.
It’s time to do something about your ugly plywood rectangle.
Everyone has one of these projects that for whatever reason defies completion. My ugly plywood rectangle is a holdover from the previous owner of our house. It is a make-do solution to cover a hole in my workshop wall that harbored a small air conditioner. The siding on my house and workshop is tan, while the ugly plywood rectangle has, over the years, weathered to a dirty dark brown.
I seldom see my ugly plywood rectangle because it is on the far side of my workshop, away from the house and garage. I only notice it maybe twice a year. The rectangle is the poster child for the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
In the five years we’ve lived in this house, Sam, my neighbor, has only commented on the ugly plywood rectangle once, and then only when I mentioned I should really do something about the eyesore. His comment was, “I never notice it.” Sam, no stranger to home improvement projects, is a gentleman and a lousy liar.
Today was the day to deal with it. Forty-five minutes were spent locating the proper paint among the twenty-five cans in my basement, finding a suitable brush, stirring the ancient latex, dragging out a ladder, and locating an old T-shirt usable as a rag necessary to wipe away the inevitable painter’s “mistakes.”
But first another chore that had waited only two years for completion begged for attention. A small piece of wood covering a hole on our deck had not been fastened to the house properly. Two nails and two minutes completed the chore. Why this hadn’t been done two years ago … well, you know.
In the middle of all this, the inside of the workshop was crying uncle. It hadn’t been cleaned since last spring. Sawdust, sand, leaves, grass, common dirt, and various species of spiders covered floor and walls. My little red Shop-Vac and I took care of this filth in about an hour and a half, stopping more than occasionally to unplug the vacuum hose by use of human wind power. Should you ever have cause to unplug your vacuum hose using human wind power, take my advice and inhale before placing lips to pipe.
The throw rug inside the door was beyond cleaning by suction, but my experience as the youngest child in my family came to the rescue. Saturday chores for the youngest child in the 1950s included hanging household rugs on the wash line and beating the living cinders out of them with a wire rug beater.
But we are in the post-modern age. Neither a wash line nor a rug beater are among my possessions, so improvisation became necessary. I draped the gritty blue mat over the fence between Sam’s property and mine, found my son’s big red plastic whiffle ball bat, and had at it. Three whacks and a mouthful of sand later, the first rule of rug beating came to mind: always stand upwind.
After cleaning the workshop and rug, painting the ugly plywood rectangle took only ten minutes. I’m sure Sam will appreciate the effort, once he sweeps that inch of rug dust off his driveway.
Published in: Home Improvement