Spring is coming slowly to Wisconsin this year. By now, we normally have temperatures in the upper 40s, sunny days tugging the buds into existence. Lately we’re stuck with grey, damp weather that clings and chills.
But that’s OK.
It delays Car Waxing Day, that morning when I lug the hose reel, thumping across the patio, hose nozzle rattling across the bricks, stopping as I reach my car. It’s followed by the bucket with the car wax, rags, and sprays that promise to shred the bugs off my windshield in a single squirt.
I used to think I was pretty good at waxing my car, but really, I’m not. Washing? Not so much, either.
I try, I really do. I crouch down, rag in hand, scrubbing the offending streaks of salt and dirt that accumulated over the course of a long Wisconsin winter, rinsing them away to dissolve in a puddle in the driveway. Things look so promising at this point.
I wax mostly according to the instructions on the orange Nu Finish bottle, sometimes forgetting to park the car in the shade first, and often being too impatient to prudently apply a coat to one small section, letting it dry before I remove it and carefully start on the next section.
I apparently do this with my eyes closed, though I don’t mean to. After I finish, my car sparkles like Cinderella’s carriage the night of the ball. The next day, it’s a sad looking pumpkin in the driveway, streaks of dried wax clinging to the finish here and there like misplaced ersatz racing stripes.
I thought I got them! I really did! But they pop up for the next week or two, here a streak, there a streak, every where a streak streak.
A few years ago, our church had a fundraising car wash. Our family signed up, and my husband snorted that it was a good thing St. Mark’s wasn’t holding a car wax, too. I had to laugh because he’s right – something bad happens when the orange bottle of Nu Finish is in my hands.
There’s also another ritual that’ll happen once the weather gets warm: the dog loves an outdoor bath.
Thank goodness he doesn’t need to be waxed!