Most people would say I keep a pretty tidy house. They might even say it is very clean. Unfortunately for me, I don’t agree. See, I’m the sort that sees, and notes, every little detail that is out of ‘alignment’ with what I learned in the Marine Corps. Attention to detail, shine that shower stall with lemon pledge, dust the plumbing under the sink, fold your spare blankets to make the shape of the lower-case “e,” lace your boots right over left, trim all strings off your cammies or you are dangling Russian rappelling ropes. You get the idea.
So, my house is generally clean, and generally in order. But not to the standard ingrained in me over 30 years ago. So, when I notice one dust bunny, I add it to my to-do list. When I see a cob-web, first I kill the ‘cob’ and then I remove his house, and any young-uns in the vicinity.
I was raised in New England, and did a great job inheriting the regional sense of frugality. Therefore we have solar panels on our roof, and a ground source heat pump, and run a wood stove in the winter. I love the heat, not so much the light coat of dust everywhere. I also try very hard to recycle everything we can, after all, there is a huge island of plastic 3 times the size of France out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Scientists believe it contains dozens of pieces of plastic for every human on the Earth. What are we doing to our beloved planet? This is a conversation for another day.
Today I’m talking about cleaning house. Like wash the windows, and mirrors; then roll up the rugs, move the furniture kind of cleaning. I didn’t get as much done yesterday as I planned. But, I packed up the never used china, shared pictures of it with the kids and found a taker! I cleaned the china cabinet, and since it had some silver in it, well, I had to clean up the silver before putting it back. At one point there were sewing and craft items scattered over the couch in my office so I could use their plastic boxes for china and random items for my sewing box on the floor in the hall. There were candle related items taken out of the big silver bowl, and boxed up for the trash. Then I removed all the dozens of ancient incandescent lightbulbs from the china cabinet drawer, and found it necessary to vacuum the dust and debris out of the drawer before replacing its contents with some old tatted doilies my mom made. Chairs were scattered all around, miscellaneous items landed for a short sojourn on the dining room table. But, despite the complete disaster in appearances, I was headed somewhere. I was headed to a resurrected living room floor.
You see, our house is kinda old, I have to be careful here, because it is not really old, like, not Civil War era or anything like an antebellum mansion. It is a mid-century little brick ranch, born a year after me, and I’m not old. The house has original hard wood floors. Poor things, they have been so taken for granted and abused over the years. We moved in 6 years ago, and before moving in I did some floor care, but all those labors have long ago faded into the past. I am so very tempted to get one of those simple new, water proof, insulating, easy care manufactured plank floors. And then, I vacuum everything, roll up the rugs, pile them on the couch, pile the chairs on the couch, and tackle the floor, one half yesterday, one half today. The result is so worth the effort.
Then I pause for a moment and think about life. After all, I am on vacation, I’ve got classic rock playing on my little Google Home, my chai tea sitting in my trusty tea pot at my side. Why not pause a moment to think about life? Sip. As I was thinking about what I typed above, about everything being in chaos to the casual observer. I also thought about how often our lives can appear in that sort of chaos, were there is so much disorder and nothing seems to be in the right place. But, there is a plan! And, while my imaginary casual observer may not see or know the plan, I do. And I can see the future in my minds-eye. It will be beautiful. It will be worth the effort to get through it.
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