Monday, July 22, 2013

Mrs. Clean Rides Again

Once in a blue moon I get the urge to clean house.  Most of the time the urge passes, but last Saturday it did not.

I took Friday off in order to help The Girl move back home.  She has decided to commute to school on the days she has to be there rather than living in the small town where the university is located.  Two pickup trucks and two carloads later, her life is safely ensconced in our garage.  For the moment we have no place to shelter our vehicles, but that will change soon.  She'll be getting moved in after her trip to San Francisco with her siblings, which is another post all in itself.

Saturday she was back at camp fixing the scraped knees and broken bones of campers. Hubster, on the way to the grocery store, went to start the pickup truck and..........nothing.

He went to the phone and called the mechanic that works on our cars.  Robert said he'd be right over, since he didn't have anything planned for the day.  Robert is what you'd expect of a shade-tree mechanic type.  His hands, arms and face were covered in oil and grease.  He wore dirty jeans and an old, dirty t-shirt.  Those are the marks of a good mechanic, other than the skills and ability to fix vehicles.

He'd been working on the pickup for about an hour when he asked to use the bathroom.  And then it happened...

(Cue menacing music)


It wasn't a pretty sight.

No, I didn't bar him from using the loo, tempted though I was.  Instead, I started to clean - something I am monumentally un-talented at.  I started in the living room with the goal of completing that room before the end of the day.  Given how slowly I move nowadays, I thought it wasn't too ambitious.

First, I let the dog out.  Then I let her back in, and quarantined her in one room by the use of baby gates.  I got rid of all other inhabitants of the house, telling them they could watch television elsewhere, and if they didn't take advantage of that offer they would be expected to help.

That cleared everyone out fast.

I swept.  I vacuumed.  I scrubbed all the brick on the fireplace and hearth.  I moved all the furniture and waxed the hardwood floors.  I dusted.  I cleaned all the glass I could see.  I scrubbed the furniture and the area rug.  I put the scatter rugs in the wash.  I vacuumed all the furniture and rearranged it.  I trashed the trash and moved the rest of the junk somewhere else.

After the first couple of hours passed, Hubster came downstairs.  Seeing the progress I'd made, he mentioned that perhaps I should give up for the day and get some rest.

I held up my fingers in the sign of the cross and said, "GET THEE BEHIND ME!" There was no way I was going to quit until it was DONE.

I scrubbed the fireplace doors and installed new handles.  I reinstalled the area rug, vacuumed the furniture (even under the cushions!) and cleaned the glass-topped tables.  I washed woodwork.

Every time I sat down to rest I thought about someone coming in to see the house, and that spurred me on.  My back started to hurt and my feet were aching, but I kept at it.


When I woke up the next morning I felt like I'd been hit by a dump truck.  But the grandkids were coming over, so I took drugs and went on.  It was all worth the trouble when #1 Grandson came into the house and said, "Wow, it's CLEAN!"  It was almost as if he'd never seen it that way.

Waitaminute.  He's 8 years old, so maybe he hasn't.

Oh, I kid.  We make sure to clean at least one time a year....most years.

Today I ache from every joint I have in this too-old body, but I will not stop until the whole house is clean...or I fall over.

Falling over sounds really good right now!

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