Who needs water?

Published 10:15 am Saturday, March 23, 2019

(Note: if you live in Miami, Mozambique or Madagascar, ignore this.  But, if you live in Fargo, Faribault or Fergus Falls, pay attention. Strict attention.)

I have wrought a miracle.  Yes, I tell you, this is not just any old everyday, run of the mill, ordinary miracle, but a bloody miracle!  Here’s the scoop.  For days now I have looked upon the alarming, escalating mess on my garage floor and with that view my despair has deepened.

The revulsion is palpable.  And it began so innocently.  So orderly.  So expensively!  It’s like this. Last summer during a hot, dry spell, I spent an alarming amount of money to have my garage floor epoxied.  Truly, I could have built a third car stall for the cost … or at least it seemed that way.

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At that time my rose-colored July vision was for that floor to always remain as aseptically white as a scientist’s lab coat, as bleached as a sun dried sheet and as un-garage-like as I could possibly get. Never once did the crud of March cross my mind.

But, in the past few days as I’ve looked at the dastardly eyesore that it has become—with its oozing quagmire of muck —I realize white may not have been the best color choice for a winter garage floor.

Plus, there is a mounting pressure inside my Martha Stewart soul that’s shrieking at me, telling me I cannot wait until spring to clean up this gritty swamp. I cannot!  Besides, I can no longer live with the fear that if my little dog wanders into the garage, she may sink into the quick sand and be sucked clear through to Shanghai, never to be seen again by occidental eyes! It would be such a shame because she’s a darned good little dog.

So, the question remains, how to clean the garage?  How to vanquish the mounds of murky mud with their cobwebbed tendrils of brown gunk that now slither from wall to wall?  For Pete’s sake, I could plant vegetables out there!

Of course, hosing out the garage is the ideal solution, but the outdoor spigots were turned off weeks ago.  Plus I am having a problem envisioning myself carrying bucketful after bucketful of water from the laundry room.

And then—kaboom!—like an intentional slap along side the head—there it was!  Compacted on the sidewalks all around me, staring back as if waiting to be noticed was the answer. Heaps and mountains and glaciers of … what else, but … snow!

By now my brain was nearly whirling right out of my head with the logic of it all. What if … what if … what if I plopped shovels full of snow on top of the mud?  Wouldn’t that sort of be like water?  Crispy crystalline water?  Well, wouldn’t it?

Now, let me be straight with you. I am no chemist and I do not pretend to know how the elements react with one another.  Indeed it was I who, when in high school was asked to recite the basic compounds of chemistry, substituted linoleum for aluminum.  But still … didn’t snow eventually become water, and wasn’t water what I needed?

Thus, with that sensible assurance bolstering me on towards sound reason, I scattered snow all over my garage floor.  Then I stood there and looked. To my utter astonishment, the snow did not melt.  Instead its spiky flakes instantly morphed into frozen mud magnets.  Yes!  The fresh white snow instantaneously turned into those little black and white Scottie magnet dogs, velcro-ing itself to the grungy grime. Slurp!  In every way it reminded me of how vanilla ice cream bonds with my thighs.

Within moments the garage floor was covered with dry hillocks of dirty snow.  And between those grimy monticules I could see my beautiful expensive epoxied white floor. I stood there in awe; truly in the presence of my very own creative greatness.  Yes, I had miraculously attained garage splendor.

Now all that was needed was to sweep out the blackened snow.  Honestly, it was world’s easier than using the hose and there was absolutely no wet mess or frozen ice to clean up afterward.  It reminded me of watching my father, 75 years ago, sprinkle sawdust on spills on his grocery store floor.  It and the snow were like dry sponges, doing all the work for us.

I was so heartened by this excellent result that I decided to next try the car.  Couldn’t a few handfuls of snow swiped across the dirty back window have the same splendid outcome?  Guess what?  It did.  All it took was some of the frozen crystals and a paper towel to do the trick.  My Prius was once looking pristine.  As it should.

I am so jazzed up over my discovery that I simply had to share it with you.  Who knew this old girl (who not all that many years ago lived in the tropics of the world down under) could be so smart?  Or did it take just that … living as far from Minnesota as a person could get to birth such fabulous ideas?

But, dear readers, there’s more. If you really want to borrow more of the brilliance of my ingenuity, ditch your snow shovel—along with all that back pain—and try blowing light, fluffy snow with your leaf blower.  Cinchy as all get out, I promise you.

So, there you have it.  And no, no … you don’t have to thank me.  Just send chocolate chip cookies.