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Lord of Pots and Pans

I do not have time to be a saint and hold vigil through the night to please you.
Make me a saint who prepares meals and does the washing up.
Prayer time will be over until I have done the dishes after supper.
Lord of pots and pans, please, rather than winning souls for you,
Let me offer the tiredness that comes over me
at the sight of coffee grounds and burned vegetable pans.
Remind me of all the things I am apt to forget.
Not just to save my feet, but that my perfectly set table may be offered as a prayer.

~St. Therese of Avila, as exerpted from Why Cleaning Has Meaning

Pink Kitchen 6

I've been thinking a lot about cleaning lately. I've had in mind to do a total floor to ceiling cleaning job since the turn of the year, but it hasn't really happened.  I clean here and there, vacuum and mop, do the essentials.  That has been all I can manage most days.  Since Mike stopped work at Walgreen's, we have spent considerable time rearranging spaces to suit our needs.  That has paid off, considerably.  The back porch is now magically and easily tidied since I gave in to its true purpose.  I need to do more of it.  Our bedroom closet is calling to me right now, in fact.

WagonI've been reading a new book, Why Cleaning Has Meaning, and it's been a really good one.  I've long felt like caring for a home is a divine task, so it has been a timely read and one that I sank into easily.  It tells about the history of housekeeping, how various cultures view cleaning and the author's own extensive experiences with her ecological cleaning company.  I've done a fair amount of cleaning for other people for about 15 years, so I can relate a little.  It is amazing to see how something as simple as cleaning transforms a space and the people who are in it, how it makes homes more welcoming and strips away years of pain.

It has inspired me, of course, as I look around my home and think of what I can do.  The tasks readily appear.  Yesterday, every pillow and blanket was stuffed into the playstands to create a gypsy wagon.  A string of chairs became the Don't-Touch-the-Floor game from Pippi Longstocking.  Oh, the work to get it all right again, though they had a wonderful time.  I suppose that my biggest most continual tasks are tidying, laundry and dishes.  Dishes used to pain me so, but that has passed.  Tidying is wearing on me these days, but I am looking forward to the simplicity of warmer weather without all the hats, mittens, and blankets that must be cared for.

A list would help me, I think, to get organized about the things I want to do.  Right now, my big goals are to get the sofa bed out of our house tomorrow and to have Mike's dead car hauled off and sold for scrap.  We had high hopes of selling parts from it, but it's time to scrap that and move on.  Sure would be nice to have half the driveway back for guests.  Reading various methods for cleaning without chemicals (not that I use many at all), has me thinking about the dirty glass on the oven door.  I'm also thinking how I need to wash windows, though I don't want to take apart the storm windows.  Maybe, if I just wash them from the outside. . .

The ideas of asking a room what it needs and looking for arrangements or items that block the flow of positive energy are exciting to me.  They are things that I think I turn around in my head all the time, anyway.  I know that this house had some really forbidding areas in it when we first moved in.  I didn't go down to the basement for a long time until Mike and my dad cleaned it out.  The back bedroom held onto a sickly vanilla smell for years.  I felt terrifically unsettled here until we took up the carpet and refinished the floors.   I think the house, in general, was sickly when we met it.  Now, it's filled with light and color and wild, creative children.  Home.


( 1 tree — Plant a Forest )
Mar. 1st, 2015 03:47 am (UTC)
I don't keep up with cleaning as much as I should, but it really is transformative. It always amazes me what it does for my mood.
( 1 tree — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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