When you are a foreign student so far away from home that you are constantly lonely, you relish each and every letter that comes your way from family or friends. These days, letters are a rarity indeed. They are from a bygone era when people actually had pens. Ha ha! Most of the time I am pretty preoccupied and living in a communal dorm, I have people to be with, especially for meals. Only the lonely know what it is like to eat alone. We share stories of our lives, or immediate families, and the trivia of human existence, but it makes me so homesick that I can barely stand it. I sit and wait sometimes for days and days for that special letter from home. I take in every word with glee. No matter how mundane the account of what I already know is taking place, I linger over the letter and can barely lay it down. It is odd to get an actual piece of mail you can read over and over again. Not an email which is so impersonal. Maybe because they are so short and not so sweet. When it comes to my parents, they know email won’t express their emotions in the way that a paper letter can. They take the time to craft a real message, which I sincerely appreciate. I am glad to hear that everyone is well and they recount how and why, even the family dog.
Now what about dad? They tell me he got a new power washer to take care of the grimy wheels of the family car and he can’t stop talking about it. It has this length of hose, it has that kind of spray nozzle. It is adjustable and easy to move around. And so on. It is an electric system that he plugs right into the outlet in the garage. I get every little detail. I think they are bored hearing about it so why tell me. I think to make the point. I will have to mention it in my letter back to them. I will have to admire his foresight in getting something that will make him more useful around the house and yard. Okay, dad, you are a really practical man I will say. Now what else can you do with this gadget? How about cleaning the garden walkways, the oily garage floor, the back walls of the house where that old vine was removed and it left traces of dirt and dead leaves. I am sure the dog house could use a real good dousing. You almost wish you would take a power washer into the house, but no; they are not designed for interior chores. He will have to do those on his own with manual power so to speak. There is nothing like a pair of hands to clean just about anything. They dust, they vacuum, they mop the floor, they wax the wood, and they wash dishes. Listen up, dad.