I have a friend, Beth, who has a beautiful house. A GORGEOUS house. I saw it the first time several days ago when she called one afternoon and invited Terry and me over for a spontaneous BBQ that evening with some friends. It was great fun! I marveled at her ability to decide at 2pm to have people over at 6pm THE SAME DAY. I have to decide 2 weeks in advance to have people over, then spend that 2 weeks frantically making the house look nice enough that I am not nervous about having people over.
Well, that evening with her and friends made me think. I don’t like being nervous about the condition of my house, and what other people would think about it. Mind you, I am not wishing I had *her* house, beautiful as it is. And it is stunning, right out of Southern Living Magazine. We don’t have that kind of money, but it *is* possible to take what we have and make it welcoming. I think of my friend R’s house. Not Southern Living either, but always tidy,comfortable and welcoming.
So it got me on a roll. Now, the past couple of weeks have seen even my less-that-ideal housecleaning schedule slide. Our air conditioner died, and it wasn’t until yesterday that it was
fixed replaced. Terry had worked on it as muchas he could- replacing all the electrical stuff, but then he determined that it was compressor. that was replaced and now whe have all new everything. However, 2 weeks with no A/C and it’s Deepest South Georgia with our 100 degree heat and 80% humidity translated as “Peggy doesn’t really feel like cleaning much.”
And add to that my irritation with the rest of the household at their INCONSIDERATE behavior of leaving things laying around instead of taking 5 seconds to put them back where they belong on top of (what my doctor believes) perimenopause sliding into the real thing so I’m moody as a cat with a snakebit tail, then seeing Beth’s beautiful house and knowing full well mine could be just as welcoming (tho not as posh)but ISN’T…
Well,I had a violent and dramatic meltdown that lasted an entire day. Several phone calls from Terry,who was having a rough day at work and needed to talk resulted in him listening to me bawl on about how underappreciated I was and no one ever considered that I had to live here in this house and everyone just expected me to clean up after them and how come I am so disrespected…ad nauseum. Poor David was here and hear the whole thing, and commenced to doing what he could,fixing this and putting that away and doing anything he could if only he could MAKE IT STOP.
The next day I was able to channel that meltdown energy into something productive, so I have been cleaning the house, one room at a time. Packing things up that aren’t needed. Hanging things,covering things, cleaning things,making it all nice. So far the whole downstairs is done, from the gameroom (the biggest job, it took 4 solid hours) to the office, and even CJ’s bedroom (which I charged him $30 to clean). You know what’s nice? Cleaning your 20 yr old’s bedroom from top to bottom and not finding anything disturbing. Naturally, what I consider ‘not disturbing’ might be very disturbing to someone else. I have a very high ‘disturbing’ threshold. Let’s just say there were no horrifying surprises.
Anyway, that’s half the house. We have a utility room, where all that stuff is stored. Household tools, the lightbulbs, dogfood, all that. I want to completely empty it, then reload it. That is the only thing left in the downstairs. The upstairs is bedrooms and my studio. (a grand name for a 10×10 room with one small window, but it is mine). David has offered me $20 to clean his room. It’s not nearly as bad as CJ’s was, so that’s fair. #4 is gone for the summer, so I’ll dohis room with the comfort of knowing it will stay that way for a while. Our bedroom is not bad, it never is, but the bathroomstillneeds some cosmetic work. The mirrors need hanging over the vanity, the door returned to the cabinet, and Terry is going to build a small cabinet to go over the toilet, to store TP and Personal Lady Stuff.
And then the patio…it’s brick. Pine tree roots are heaving the bricks up in places and I am not sure what to do there. Do we take up those bricks, dig down and cut to roots, then replace them? There’s several cosmetic issues on the patio. To it’s credit, however, the wisteria is doing a lovely job on the brick wall along the back of the patio, and I am pleased with it. Beth has one of those enormous industrial fans she set up on her backporch, blowing out on their patio, and that was kind of perfect- it wasn’t too noisy, but generated enough wind that the bugs didn’t bother us and it was comfortable. Terry and I are pondering the aquisition of one of those. It would enable us to use our patio more in the Summer, which would be lovely.
Anyway, the upshot of it all is that my friend has spurred me into action regarding the house. No, I am not interested in a million $ house like hers. It wouldn’t suit us at all. I can,howver, clean up what I have and make it welcoming for anyone who wants to come over. I would like to have people over without feeling the need to spend 2 weeks cleaning up first.