Monday, April 28, 2014


Originally posted in January 2012 - I've just returned from an extended weekend visit to Charleston, South Carolina, of course, and I'm in the catching-up phase. I'll have a few Charleston related blogs in the future.  Meanwhile, this blog is still au courant as far as my life is concerned: the dust was still there to greet me when I returned from the trip.
I hate dust. I dusted once – why is it dusty again?  I know, I know – it’s just a rhetorical question.  I hate dusting.  To be truthful, I hate housework.  You’d never know it if you took a quick look at my house – it is almost always neat and picked up.  Few people believe me when I tell them that’s because I’m lazy. I don’t want to have a big pick-up-and-straighten job to do so I neaten as I go. But the dust does accumulate.  Don’t come here wearing your white gloves, otherwise I’ll make you use them to do the dusting.

Spruce pollen cloud
I didn’t have to think much about dust for about a quarter of a century. We lived about twenty miles from the nearest city in upstate New York, out in the clean air of the country where the dust didn’t accumulate very quickly. Well, I must admit that during pollen season in the middle of the woods it could be a bit (a bit?) messy. And it didn’t come all at once: maple, oak, beech, evergreens – they took their turns. Brush past a spruce and it would explode with pollen. The mess stayed mostly outdoors on the porch and patio furniture.  A good hosing took care of it.

Here at SCCL I’m starting to think there are little dust elves sprinkling the stuff around when I sleep.  It isn’t as bad now as when they were building new houses around us, but it almost seems as though I could dust every day. It also seems as though I am less and less inclined to do any housecleaning at all.

On one recent sun-shiny day the angle was just right for the light to reflect off the floor into some of the neglected corners, and on to some of the kitchen cabinets – egad! I hate that kind of sunlight almost as must as I hate dust.  Well, I embarrassed myself into getting out the floor mop and the cleaning spray and sponges and I tackled the job: not just the mess so blatantly lit for me, but the whole floor and all the cabinet fronts. Counter tops too while I was at it. I did draw the line at washing the walls and pulling apart and cleaning the appliances. I mean enough is enough.  I do realize that I felt soooo much better for having done the job – but no one was there for me to brag to. Ah, well. I’ll get my reward somewhere later on in life – I hope!
Just thinking about how my mother and her mother kept house makes me ache all over.  My mother’s mother’s house shone from top to bottom. It will suffice to tell you just that she washed all the walls in her house at least twice a year. Though, like her mother, she did take apart and wash her refrigerator every Thursday, which I think excesive, my mother must have thought her mother's wall washing was the excessive thing. Most of Mom's walls were wallpapered, and the painted walls in the kitchen and bathrooms got washed perhaps once a year, and when I got older sometimes they were washed by me! 

I’ve lowered my standards even further. I take after my other grandmother: I’m lazier. That gal was one of the original liberated women: her house was, as they say, “Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy.”  She had places to go, people to see, and go and see she did. 

And so do I! 

Amen to that!

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