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Monday, December 22, 2008

OMG--I am Becoming Like My Mother (NOT)>>>>>>



This time of year forces me inside (out of the cold Siberia-like weather). Therefore, I am forced to look at (and deal with) the summer's months of dust, piles of junk and enough-stuff-to-hold-an-auction-of-my-own-and-end-world-hunger.

When we were first married, I was not working outside the home, so I would actually schedule dusting, vacuuming, etc. so that it got done on a regular basis. (SICK, I know, but hey, it was the 70's and I was trying to find myself....it was before Martha Stewart).

But, I have to admit, things were kept pretty neat and tidy. Company could stop in without notice and I could whip out a homemade dessert and serve it on matching placemats with personalized name tags....

I did not get that from my mother. She was not a dirty housekeeper, by any means. She kept things clean.

But tidy?

Matching?

Ohhhhhh, nooooooooooooooooooooo.

Being the wife of an Air Force lifer husband, they moved every 1 to 3 years to another place, us kids along with them. That meant nothing was permanent in the way of belongings or furniture. Shabby chic was unheard of as a style of decorating back then, but she had the shabby down. We most often had mismatched end tables, lamps that didn't match, carpets that didn't match the rest...well, you get the idea.

Her idea of getting the house ready for company was to shift the pile of Sears Roebucks catalogs and local newspapers from one end table to the other, and maybe move the filled laundry basket out of sight.

She would get excited if some other Air Force family got orders to move to another base, because that meant she could rummage through their stuff that they wanted to leave behind.......which quickly became our "new" furniture. I never figured out as a kid where our old stuff went when this happened.....(It was probably a huge recycling of shit going round and round between families!?)

My Dad wasn't a help, either. He was an impulsive buyer.

Once, he had to go to Montgomery Ward to get new tires and I came with him.

Lucky for Wards (but unlucky for our family budget), there was a stereo/electronics section of the store right next to the Automotive department.

He was wandering in there while they were getting his tires on the car, and saw one of those HUGE cabinet/console-style stereos, complete with a turntable and AM/FM radio built in. (They were considered "state of the art" then and quite the rage back-in-the-day).

Well, his eyes nearly welled up in wonder, and before I knew it, he was trying to load the monsterous thing in the trunk. It was so big, it hung out of the trunk, precariously balancing with each bump.

He brought it into the house, flushed with excitement and like in the movie: A Christmas Story (where the Dad displayed his new fish-netted-stocking lamp in front of the house's biggest window), he shoved all the other furniture aside so that the stereo was the main focus.

I don't recall him ever turning the stereo on himself, and I don't think he ever knew how.

Not that I didn't love it.

Rock and Roll was just starting to come into mainstream life for me, so when Mom and Dad were gone, I would crank that baby up in volume and do my best "Risky Business" type dancing. But, I digress.....

The stereo cabinet was dark mahogony in color, our end tables were blond and our coffee table was cherry. (Not that it mattered, because there were piles of things on them all anyway.)

My mom's method of dusting was by moving everything on a table half over, dusting...then sliding the objects to the other side and dusting the other (remaining)) half.

I don't remember when she dusted or vacuumed, but it sure wasn't on a schedule, (like I developed when I got married).

But then, three things happened.

I had two kids (about 3 years apart) and then I went back to college full-time (while still raising two small kids). After I graduated, I then went directly into a full-time nursing job: varying shifts! You can imagine how my Martha Stewart/scheduled cleaning/OCD life changed then. I became....
well,............
normal.

And then, years and years later: comes retirement.

I retired in June, so I was outside all summer doing all the things (I never had much time for before) that I love....(gardening, fishing, etc.). In addition, we are renovating two (not ONE, but TWO) old houses in our neighborhood...one of which I plan to start a small antique and collectables shop in over the next few summers. So, I painted and scraped and did interior design work, etc. That is, until the Siberia blizzards arrived.

Now, I am inside until spring....Thus: the cleaning jobs waiting to be done are more than apparent.

So, I got out the pencil and paper and reinvented the notorious "cleaning list" schedule.

I did fine the first two weeks.

I dusted corners in the house I didn't even know existed.

I managed to clean out a few closets, medicine cabinets, light fixtures and even storage containers.

But then the holidays came.....and that ended THAT !!

So, like Mom so wonderfully taught me, I have resorted to the art of moving half of the piles over while I dust the other half of the table off, and am proud to report I am doing so without a hint of guilt.

With any luck, I can keep it up until Spring..............

Thanks Mom!!!!

4 comments:

Aria said...

OMG, that's how I dusted when I lived in my mother's house... are you my long lost cousin? And now... dust... that's nature's tablecloth isn't it? Oh crap, it's not...? And I was just going to blow some powdered blush into the air right in front of the fan to get that Christmas red into the table coverings... Damn! Another fine plan thwarted!

Kim said...

Ummm, you need to ask before you post pictures of me like that...is there a release form somewhere on here?

and I can't follow you...can't click on anything...must...follow...

at least my legs were shaved!

June Saville said...

RETIRED ONE - It seems you have a similar attitude to dust et al as I have. A home is to be lived in but one must stay healthy and that means keeping it reasonably clean ... c'est la vie!
I'm pleased you're enjoying 'Paternity'. It really helps an author to know when readers appreciate what they do!
Have a happy Christmas and keep your toes warm. Me? We're for a picnic and a swim in a crystal clear creek ...
June in Oz

A.J.Johnson said...

I forgot to comment on this earlier, true, true, true, I too see it every day in myself and I laugh.

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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