This weekend has been something unexpected. Three days off, so lots of plans to play and see our family and friends. Plans to enjoy the precious freedom paid for by the life blood of countless others. Plans to create more memories of raining orchids.
Saturday, a boating accident very near our play place on the river took the lives of two people and injured another. We noticed debris in the water a few moments before another boater arrived with the news. My husband and our friend went to wait with the victims until the authorities arrived. Seeing body bags go by on the water rescue boat is not expected. I pray I never see it again. I am grateful my family and our younger friends were not with us that day. I am saddened for the loss of the families involved.
Sunday was all we hoped for and more. All the children and our friends had a terrific time swimming and lounging on the river bank. A couple of our precious friends surprised us with an overnight at a bed and breakfast just upriver. We had a lovely Monday morning over breakfast and some wet fishing hooks. The boys caught a few and the canoes didn’t overturn. So, all went well.
Late Monday morning, I arrived home to find my daughter, at my house puppy sitting for me, had taken care of my cooking for us to take to our son’s home. We spent the afternoon grilling and eating and swimming. They decided it would be fun to make a whirlpool in the swimming pool. I was in a floatie with my feet up. My son pulled me around the pool in his wake as the rest of the crew also went round and round creating a whirlpool flow. I laughed and laughed the entire time!
Life has been good to me. I will dwell on all the good and set aside the sad for another day. The orchids of these days have been especially fragrant. They are red, white and blue and smelling like precious life, freedom, liberty and happiness found.
I am ever mindful of the many who did not come home during war time and those who have been lost while keeping ready for war time. He served in the United States Army during peacetime. What a dashing soldier he made! He was and still is my warrior. Without him fighting my demons with me, I would not have gotten where I am today. He has taken on more than flesh and blood enemies on my behalf. He has stood shielding me with his prayers and courage and strength while Christ held him firm and the Father answered his pleas. More than a conqueror. Yes. He is.
Now don’t get yourself worked up about animal cruelty. It is only an expression. Granny Sally and Mother used to call a certain kind of house cleaning washing the cat out with dash. There was a washing detergent called Dash. I don’t know if it is still made or not.
To wash the cat out with dash means to really deep clean the house. Not spring cleaning exactly, but still very thorough. It seems I used to be able to do it in half a day. The entire house would be dusted, vacuumed, mopped. The bathrooms scoured, the kitchen shiny, the washing done up.
Today(Saturday), I got some cleaning done. The house looks good. The floors and kitchen are done. The wash is clean. But, I have more to do.
Even when the children were small, it didn’t seem to take so long. Of course, I was home full time and twenty-something years old. Many things got taken care of as I went along. I could get busy and get the shine on pretty quickly.
Also, I had a room separate from the rest of the house that held projects and stored sewing and crafting supplies and equipment. I had a small shed to house a lot of boxes of stuff as well.
In this house, I have eight closets, generous pantry shelves, large bathroom cabinets. I also have an attic that holds quite a bit. I fret over them having things in them that may not need to be there. What if I have too many Christmas decorations? What if I have too many purses in storage? What if I have too many never to be used arts and crafts supplies and tools? As I look around my home, I wonder do I have too many decorative items? Too much furniture? I don’t even want to think about my overflowing bookcase. Books are precious to me. I love books. Nook can’t replace the tactile experience of paper and ink books.
I am trying to break the thought process that leads to the fretting. Whose business is it anyway? As long as he doesn’t mind, and I like the way it is, who else matters? What hovers in the dark memory of my past that makes my mind go off on that path? I think I know what it is. When I was young, not yet a teenager, an elderly man made a comment to me that hurt my feelings in a way that I still stings sometimes. He criticized me for allowing my room to be a mess. My mother was never one to force the room cleaning issue. She might mention it and then just close my door so she didn’t see the mess when she went past.
When I became a homemaker, the nagging feeling of shame haunted me. I think that is why I have never allowed personal things to sit on tables. Books, notebooks, nail file, a bottle of polish, pens, markers, lotion, those types of things, I don’t allow myself to leave sitting in the public areas of my home. The bathroom counter is always free of bottles, combs, hair bands. A soap dispenser or dish with soap is all that I allow. Kitchen counters are as clear as I can make them without too much inconvenience. No canister sets, toaster, bread box, etc. sit on the counters. Even in my bedroom there are no collections of toiletries or stacks of magazines. Our bedroom has a lot of furniture and most of my treasures, relics and trinkets. Even those are boxed up and put away when I feel suffocated by them.
Less is more for me. Less stuff to clean and clean around means more time and energy to play and to laze around daydreaming. Two of my favorite things to do. Although, I do love to get busy and wash the cat out with dash some days. That freshness of a washed up house is wonderfully relaxing. That sense of accomplishment silences a ghost voice I am still trying to banish. I like doing it just for the joy it gives me.
A huge almost empty room. Natural light illuminating everything. Sumptuous bed. Beautiful plant or flower. Great book to read. Cup of steaming black coffee. Sounds like paradise to me. How do I get there?