McGregor Says: Spring cleaning can be a chore

Anyone with a piece of turf on this planet enjoys hearing there will be a week of nice weather in early spring.

Getting a head start on yard and house clean-up is a bonus.

I set aside a day for pressure washing the deck, patio, stairs and railings and got outside early.

The wind chimes were tinkling, the tulips were up, the cherry blossoms were out and the sun was already welcoming me from the clear blue sky.

I moved stuff around, sprayed on some cleaner, fired up the pressure washer and began blasting away the winter moss and mould.

After about 30 minutes the fuel ran out and I stopped for a coffee and muffin, happy with the progress I had made.

I refilled the tank, started the machine and it ran until I got to the top of the stairs and then quit.

I pulled the cord a few times but nothing happened; I played with the choke and pulled some more.

I checked the plug and pulled, I checked the air filter and pulled. I was reminded of the story about the minister who was buying a lawn mower at a garage sale but it wouldn’t start.

The young man selling it said, “You have to swear at it.” He replied, “I am a man of the cloth, I don’t know any swear words.”

The boy replied, “You just keep pulling on that rope and they will come to you!”

I confess I did begin to curse, normally at first, then stringing words creatively together even fashioning some new combinations with each yank of that cord.

Then I felt a sting and looked at my hand to see a blister had formed and popped. Adding to my frustration, those once calloused hands that changed truck tires or tossed hay bales all summer were now soft and tender as a baby’s bum.

Now there was blood and sweat, and tears could not be far away. Surely the devil had created the Briggs and Stratton engine.

I went in to clean it up and put a Band-Aid on and decided to check Google only to find I had done all the suggestions. The only thing left was to drain the gas and blow out the lines.

That only proceeded to make more of a mess and dissolve the Band-Aid.

With the new gas in, I started pulling again but my finger hurt and now I have no idea how left handed people start air-cooled engines as it was not easy to pull the cord with my other hand.

I got a glass of water and plunked down on the steps. My chest was pounding and I wondered how such a perfect day had suddenly turned out so bad.

Then I heard the wind chimes, I saw the tulips and the blossoms and felt the warm sun on my neck. The day hadn’t changed at all, only I had.

How frail we are that a honk of horn, an unkind word or a stubborn machine can affect our attitude in an instant. We are experts at bringing in our own dark clouds to cover the sun.

I took Satan’s pressure washer to the repair shop, made some iced tea and sat on the clean half of my deck, feeling my heart rate return to normal. The rest can wait. Anger is just one letter short of ‘danger.’

At least that’s what McGregor says.