Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This House Is Alive

I am not a housekeeper. I consider why and come up with interesting excuses. The one that I believe sounds most lofty is that I don’t like to look for faults. Sometimes I pretend that it’s my decorating style aka A Pier 1 Has Exploded In A Big Lots. I have even been known to take on a warrior persona and wage organized combat on the situation with an Easter bucket on my head. Mostly I just give up. I am not particularly lazy, but I have to work to find joy in the constant housekeeping repetition - you have to keep doing things over and over and over. Yeck.

But then I think ..........

This home is full of life. Unlike some families I know who leave their house in the morning returning only for bedtime and a quick snack, we actually live here. It is our home, our school, our restaurant, our concert hall, our laundry mat, our conference room, our hotel, our research center, our jungle gym, our theatre, our mini storage facility, our art studio. And you can tell. It shows.

The spirit is represented in the faces of the people living here. The veins must be the endless webs of cords, connectors, and occupied electrical outlets. There is a well used water elimination system. Teenagers daily take the number of showers to equal their age: if you are 14 you need 14 showers. And don’t forget the laundry. The kitchen is the spine - sensitive, touching, central to it’s stance.

Before I meander into a rant here, let me express a bit of gratitude for this. I am thankful for each of these people that give life to this house, and I am thankful for this house, too. I want to enjoy this time while it lasts ... while everyone is living at home, while there is learning to take part in, while there are scuffles and snuffles and growing young people with appetites to match.

And that just took the wind right out of my rant. I realize I need to love this house like the other living creatures in my life - with caring, nurturing actions. How thought provoking ...

How long will it be, do you reckon, before this house starts taking its own showers?

Friday, January 23, 2009

I am all alone, I am...

I have the entire house to myself. My husband and son are off to see Valkyrie, which I hear is three hours long, I pray that's true. My daughter is visiting a friend for the day and I even put the cats out. I've locked the doors and drawn the blinds and am not answering the phone, so don't call me. So far I've watched an entire episode of Project Runway, all by myself. No one asked me why that guy has pink pokey hair or what the definition of militia is or where the AAA batteries are. Later I'm going read a book in the bath and leave the door unlocked and, maybe have a glass of wine; well I don't have any wine, but maybe a glass of cherry, berry, apple juice. But first, for lunch, I'm going to eat the entire one pound bar of Cadbury dark chocolate with hazlenut and drink an entire litre of coke. And in three hours, when everyone arrives home, it will be like it all never happened. They really do think I clean while they're away...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I do not know what's in that drawer
I never have been there before
And that box underneath my bed
Just knowing it's there fills me with dread
Yesterday, just after noon
I walked into my laundry room
There's cupboards there too high to reach
(Heaven knows what's underneath)
I looked until the stool I found
And gamely climbed up from the ground
I opened up those cabinet doors
Saw things I'd never seen before
Went further still, opened the next
I must admit that I was vexed
Twas obvious that some poor soul
Endeavored faithfully in the role
Of hiding away things we needed no more
Nobody wanted, no one adored
Worked hard to fit into that space
A cartop carrier, a violin case
Six chair covers, four beach towels
Riding gear, gardening trowels
Paint in cotten candy colors
Navy blue and I'm sure there were others
My enthuisiasm for the chore was gone
There was no reason to go on
With heavy heart my eyes did roam
From my perch, around my home
Spring will come again next year
I'll do it then, I will, I swear...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Chaos Theory

I thrive on tidy chaos. The illusion of order is very important to me. I'm a habitual list maker, but I usually can't find the lists once they're prepared. I like a good schedule, a well made plan, traditons, and I like to check things off when they're complete, it makes me feel productive. However, I can't cope with uniformity, too many straight lines and polished surfaces give me vertigo and I have to lie down-which involves untucking the bed and then re-making it. I like things to be put away, but if you open a drawer or cupboard in my house you'll find a hodge-podge of items that may or may not be related in any way. I don't really mind the mess, I just don't want to see it. I make my bed every morning, but can't sleep at night until everything is untucked again. I don't iron. If a second run through the dryer doesn't make it presentable, it goes in the donation box, I don't need the aggravation. I dust once a week, on Saturday, unless I have something better to do, then it has to wait until the next Saturday. Saturdays are for cleaning, not Tuesdays and never Fridays, it's been a winning system for many years and is not to be tampered with. I almost always have books, Legos, game pieces, hair bows and/or art supplies scattered around my living room, but if you drop by most Sundays those items will be dust free and maybe even neatly piled on one side of the coffee table. At some point in my old age I expect to be color coordinated, I'll be bric-a-brac free and my kitchen sink will be shiny. My closets will contain only the outfits I can still fit into and will no longer be hiding all the hobbies I don't want. My towels will match my shower curtain and I'll own perfectly matched Yorkie Terriers. There will be a perfect polish on my dining room table and I'll know exactly where my purse is. A life with no clutter, what a sad thing indeed....