A Quick Holiday Weekend
By Paul Morrone, CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA
The wet and cold spring has led to a backlog of deferred maintenance projects around my house. Not that I’ve been too eager to power wash the deck or do some weeding, but the especially dismal weather has at least bought me some time and has given me a legitimate excuse to put off the inevitable list of projects. Fortunately, we were rewarded over Memorial Day Weekend with a long overdue break in the historic stretch of rain that we’ve been having and finally got some much-deserved sunshine. With that came a litany of house-related responsibilities that finally had to be addressed. If it were entirely up to me, I would have washed the cars and sat down to enjoy a cold beer. But as we all know, it's bigger than just me!
The importance of maintaining the outside of the house has increased significantly this year as we are now spending much more time at home with Kyle. In the past, it was rare for either of us to be home for more than a few hours a week during daylight hours, meaning that some ‘annual’ maintenance/cleaning items either went unnoticed or were simply ignored. We spent so little time home the past few summers, in fact, that our patio furniture hasn’t seen the light of day in nearly 5 years. Aside from the grill, our deck has been empty (which is a pretty depressing thought).
As our priorities changed, so have our living habits. It is no longer a rarity that we spend both weekend days at home, and by no means is that a bad thing. We are now using our house differently and look forward to enjoying our front yard and back deck as Kyle grows and can spend more time outside. This meant that the number one item on my to do list was to power wash the deck. Luckily, the deck itself is made of a composite material which is very easy to clean and is quite resilient even after years of being semi-neglected. The red color also hides dirt well and didn’t accumulate any of the green mold that often builds up on the south side (the shady side) of a house. The spindles, on the other hand, didn’t fare as well, and are far more tedious to clean. Even with a power washer, it took a solid 2 hours to get everything back to that nice clean white.
A couple of other projects consumed the rest of the weekend and before I blinked my eyes it was already Monday afternoon. With the deck clean, my final task was to bring our patio furniture out of retirement and back outside. We enjoyed our first family dinner on the deck Monday evening, and even got Kyle out there in his high chair. He enjoyed his first Memorial Day in classic fashion, complete with a cheeseburger and fries.
In case you’re wondering, I did get to wash the cars (and have my beer, too). And soon thereafter they were covered with pollen and are now getting rained on. Gotta love ‘spring’ in New England.