Sorting Summer

I’ve been cleaning house all day, and plan to keep at it all week. This is what I do when the family goes on vacation. The house is quiet. No one is around to interrupt or interfere. They’ve gone camping, so a lot of things are out of the house and out of my way.

My Mom used to do this too.  I’d ask her to come along with us, or ask what fun things she would do while we were gone, but no – we always came home to a squeaky clean house. I never understood it – until now.

I think, beyond the fact that it is easier when you are alone, you also get the satisfaction of seeing things stay clean for a while. Normally dishes and laundry pile up faster than you can wash them. Once cleared tables gather mail, toys, craft projects, shopping bags. Floors get tracked across with muddy feet. (I admit this to being my fault. As much as I take my shoes off by the back door, I still seem to bring the garden in with me.)

I know this won’t last long. Friday the first of the campers will be back with dirty laundry, dirty dishes, leftover food and an accumulation of gear that will linger in the front entryway. Then Saturday the other will come back with more laundry and craft projects. (I admit to doing this to my Mom too.) Somehow it was such a chore to get the tents and backpacks back where they belonged. I think it also felt like there was more of a chance to get out on the lake again, if we just left stuff where it could be quickly grabbed. Kind of like our swimsuits and towels that hang on the porch railings into fall, until we finally have to admit the season is gone.

I suppose the fact that I can have all the windows and doors open inspires a sense of cleaning out too. The fresh air feels good, and it is easier to tote things out to the trash or the shed. I know I am very happy to have the temperatures in the normal range. Cool at night means that I can get several hours of work done upstairs, and then move to the cooler downstairs. It also means I can sleep well enough to be ready for more work tomorrow. Last year it was 100 degrees and humid. I didn’t do much more than the gardening where the sprinkler would cool me off, maybe straggle over to the falls for a swim, and then collapse in front of the fan.

Well, I suppose it’s time to call it quits for a while, get cleaned up, and head off to work, but first a quick shower and some Motrin.