Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Color My World...

My husband and son both pointed out to me that having a dirty car in snow country is not the same as having a dusty car in tornado country. There are chemicals on the roads here that melt the ice and the resulting filth needs to be washed off regularly.

Where I grew up and raised my kids in San Diego I found it refreshing to wash my own car in the driveway; the weather there is always perfect 365 days a year.

No kidding.

But here in SLC it has been too cold outside to do that; my car could be a block of ice if I gave that a shot. Knowing that fact meant I had to go and try to find a car wash some where in my area.

Part of being new in town is that you can't remember where you have seen a car wash...and when you do see one, it is inevitably on the wrong side of the road or the wrong kind of carwash.

The wrong kind of car wash for me is one where you put change in a machine and wrangle a sprayer all by yourself. The "right" kind for me is the kind that has all kinds of whirling brushes and flapping strips.

I do know some people blanch at the thought of going through one of those kinds of car washes.(Hi Terry! Happy Anniversary!) They insist (correctly) that such car wash treatments leaves swirl marks in the car's gloss coat.

For awhile I worried about that too...and used the "touchless" car wash systems, only to discover that touchless systems are designed to wash the dirt and leave it neatly in place.

Well, to appease my menfolk, I made a reckless U turn when I saw an available car wash the other day. As I steered my car into the wash bay, fond memories came flooding back to me of another place and time.

Back to when I was a mother of two rambunctious and often quarrelsome children, and friends with women who were likewise deep in the process of child rearing.

Across town (a ten minute drive in little La Mesa suburb) there was a place where you could fill up with gas, and for about a dollar more, you could go through the brush and flap kind of car wash.

Sometimes when the kids were just about to drive me wild, I would simply ask: "Who wants to go through the car wash?" and it was just like I had announced a trip to Disneyland.

The kids would pile into the car, and as the water sprayed on the windows and the brushes whirled closer and closer, the sounds of the car wash would blend perfectly with the screams and squeals of the kids.

Sometimes, when I was really, REAALLY needing a break, I would pay for us to go through twice. And sometimes...I just remembered this...I would get out of the car and let them go through the wash without me!

Salt Lake City is one kid friendly kind of town.
Proof: At the car wash here, the sprayed on soapy lather slopped on in rainbow colors.
It was lovely.
And if it hadn't cost so very much more than a car wash used to, I think I would have gone through it again.
Not screaming...just smiling a bit before heading back to my busy day.


Vicki said...

Some of our local (well, "local" as in where we used to live) "brush & flap" car washes squirt out the colorful suds...pretty cool! I haven't found a decent car wash here, and the sap from these live oaks is probably corroding away the clearcoat...

Sara said...

How interesting, we were going to car washes at the same time with our kids and almost in the same city....there used to be such a place at the corner of Montezuma and El Cajon Blvd...these days I take my car to a place where other people do the washing and waxing while I go across the street and peruse Walmart for a while.