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The Simple Joy of Car Washing

Bob has always been a car guy. There was a time, before stroke, that I would roll my eyes as Bob would head out to the garage to spend his entire Sunday washing and polishing our cars. “Isn’t that why God gave us car washes?” I’d ask as I followed him out to the garage waving my own list of high priority projects. All I’d ever get was a look of incredulity. My own list of Sunday candidate projects ignored, we had the cleanest cars on the block. And invariably, when the Blue Rocks ran their “Dirtiest Car in the Parking Lot” contest during a ball game, Bob would lean over to me and in a low voice declare, “They’d better not pick our car”.

Imagine what it must have been like for him to live the last three years looking at his supply of gourmet car wash products go to waste on the garage shelf as he watched me head off to the car wash and come back with what was surely a sub-par cleaning job.

Well, today that all ended as we embarked on “Full Sunday Working in the Garage”, as he used to call it with our children.

Today I learned the meaning of all the neat and precisely stacked rags in the car-washing cupboard. Whether it is light blue, white with red trim, pale green plush, they all have their specific purpose and offer their own special value to the whole process. I learned what tire cleaning implements must NEVER be used on the body of the car. And it was reinforced for me that all those years my car hung onto the new car smell was because of our secret stash of “new car” scent that Bob would strategically spray on the interior carpet after every cleaning.

Bob was in his glory today and although this was not the first time since his stroke he tried his hand at car washing again, it was the first time he worked solidly through two and a half hours of bending and stooping as he vacuumed, washed and polished. I have to admit it was kind of fun. Semper avanti.

Bob Bucceri washing the car

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