Sometimes, as 13 year-old boys go, I don’t know whether to be charmed or alarmed.

Sam came with me to return the power washer to Home Depot in Bellingham. We are staining our deck and a power washer was in order for preparation. I handed Sam the long blue hose, which he presently slipped over his head and body, adjusting loops to make his walk easier. Not my first choice but –

I grabbed the sprayer and headed inside – mind you – through the open door 8 feet away – at the very far corner of the Home Depot building – with all the other rental returns marking the walkway to the door. The rental return area stands removed from the main building by at least 150 yards. I didn’t think anything of it. The opened door was in clear view.

While in the room getting help lifting the power washer out of the car, the cashier had me sign a return form. When done, I glance up expecting to see Sam in the near vicinity – the boy with the blue hose wrapped around himself – nowhere.

I look outside to the car. No Sam. Across the parking lot. No Sam. Down the side alley. No Sam. Back inside. No Sam. Out to the warehouse. No Sam. The cashier looked. No Sam anywhere.

As I ponder Sam disappearing into the ether from the far corner of Home Depot by the Rental Return Area – it occurs to me. The main entrance. The teenager – thoroughly ensconced in arranging his blue hose around him devoted all his brain cells to the endeavor, saw the main entrance, and proceeded accordingly.

Ten minutes later my suspicions were confirmed. I cannot account for the 10 minute lapse. Perhaps Sam was whisked away to some Home Depot fashion show and sauntered down the catwalk in his blue hose train.

When in doubt – err on the side of charmed.