Misadventures in home improvement

letters to editor, opinion, column, editorial, guest commentary


Easter is right around the corner.

For some, it means Easter grass, a giant rabbit, or egg hunts galore.

For me, however, it has been a process of fixing up the house.

This last week, for example, had a project in store of getting algae and filth off of a wooden porch.

Now, some people might say “Hire someone!”

Not me though, I’ve always had a need to learn to do things myself (meaning Chris is too cheap to hire someone, too stubborn to ask for help, too stupid to realize he’s in over his head, or some combination of the above).

So I started with a “porch cleaning solution.”

Easy enough, right?

Apply, scrub, rinse, and by some miracle of God, the stuff is gone.

Yeah, not so much.

I got a bucket and filled it with water from the bathtub (did I mention my garden hose split in two the week before?)

Next, I added the solution (more is better, so why wouldn’t half a bottle be better than one cup? After all, it’s a lot of algae), stirred it with my hand to make sure it’s mixed, then felt the burn of chemicals as they soaked into my skin (there’s a “walked briskly to the bathroom to rinse my bright red hand off” in there somewhere too).

Next, I sloshed it on the porch with a sponge mop and scrubbed as hard as I could. As I scrubbed harder and harder, a bit of foam got into my eye, and I got to repeat the brisk walk to the bathroom.

Lastly, I shuttled a bucket back and forth to the bathroom to rinse the porch off. No luck, so the folks at the hardware store suggested a putty knife.

Five splinters ended up in my hand, and I decided that wasn’t going to work.

So I borrowed a power washer from a friend.

It worked perfectly, until I realized that I was power washing when it was below freezing.

What does that mean?

That means that my porch is algae free and looking great, but until it warms up, it’s a sheet of ice.

Applications for a handyman are now being accepted.

Applicants bringing their own garden hose are preferred.