Friday, October 20, 2023

I just want to ride my motorcy-cle

"Your father is really grumpy," my wife advised one of our daughters, over the phone.

"I AM NOT GRUMPY!" I grumped, loud enough for daughter to hear it 1,500 miles away.

"I protest: I am not grumpy," I told my wife, after she hung up.

"I'm sad," I said.

It sounded like whining and, OK, maybe I was whining.

I just wanted "IT" to stop.

"IT" is all the miscellaneous household chores that converge on a lazy husband once every couple of decades.

We had the interior of the house painted. We got a new roof. We got the soffits repaired. (What are "soffits?" my wife asked). We had new hurricane-proof widows and doors installed for the entire house.

Sure, real men with real muscles performed all the actual work. All we had to do was pay for it. All I physically had to do was drag furniture out of the way and cut back the vegetation where needed.

But wait just a minute. The windows and doors were all changed in one day. To prepare for this, ALL the furniture in the house had to be dragged away from EACH AND EVERY door or window.

Think about it. Think about what a double bed and mattress weigh.

It seems like a minor thing, but every window in a house has a "window treatment." Blinds. Shades. Drapes. Curtains. Valances. They all have to come off.

And, afterwards, consider how much dust is left by the process of pounding out every door and window, and then pounding in new ones in their place. Plenty of dust, let me assure you, and workmen, being workmen, don't clean all of it up.

When you're done with that cleaning up, you have to put back all the window treatments.

Now it is time to have the exterior of the house painted. ("What are fascia boards?" my wife asked.)

Once again, plants will need to be cut back, outdoor furniture will need to be pulled away. The RING doorbell I just installed will have to come off, along with the mailbox and porch light, maybe more. 

And eventually it will all have to be put back.

Meanwhile, my Royal Enfield motorcycle sits in the garage, ignored, covered with an old bedsheet to keep the dust off.

I finally got to go for a ride today (just to keep the battery up). Traffic was bad, heat and humidity terrible, rain clouds threatened. None of that mattered. Riding felt great.

It's really clear to me: the best mental-health medicine in the house lives under a sheet in the garage.

Arlo Guthrie was right.

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