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March 13, 2012: Cleaning Up

Spring break. It’s the best and the worst time to do housework. Temps today were in the low 20s, with me itching to get out. But it had gotten to the point in which I could no longer wallow about in this dusty, dirty, cluttered cabin.

So I determined that I’d clean up the place this afternoon, and prepared to do what had to be done, by taking a few deep breaths. Cough, cough, that didn’t work, so I merely gritted my teeth and had at it.

I put books and magazines away, hung up the laundry, (on stair rails and our drying rack) vacuumed, picked up wads of used tissue, threw away scrap paper, and discarded pens that no longer worked.

As I did this, things that had been missing surfaced—a book that I’d been

searching for, a letter I wanted to reply to, a glove that I thought was long gone. It almost seems magical when this happens. It does feel like surfacing.

I dislike doing housework. For some reason, I’d rather be outside, doing something mundane, like cleaning up after the outer animals. I’ve often wondered why this is, but so far no answer has materialized.

On days like this, I try not to be grumpy about having to be inside. And I try not to be envious of Pete, who always does more than his share. Today, for instance, he went for a ski, shoveled off the main cabin roof, and embarked on a hay run. (As I write this he’s cooking dinner.)

As I worked, I instead focused on the immediate future, and thought of how nice it would be to again be able to easily located much-needed items. And, for the first time ever, I used my IPod Shuffle and listened to tunes. I discovered that I could both straighten up and listen to music.

When all was said and done, there was still time to do outside stuff. Daylight savings time has (finally) arrived and the sun’s now setting at 8 p.m. I got out at 4 p.m., cleaned the goat and horse pens, and helped Pete unload hay from Fish Habitat (our truck, named such because its former owner once remarked that its life as a truck was over, and that it would be best to sink it in a pond, so that fish might breed in it.)

And there was still time for a horseback ride. Raudi did very well, several times cantering in a nice, slow, and collected fashion behind Mr. Siggi.

Tomorrow I’ll go over still-dirty surfaces with a cloth and Murphy’s Oil Soap. And I’ll clean the windows. (The kitchen window by the stairs has dog smut on it). And perhaps I’ll clean out the kitchen addition cupboards. No, I haven’t turned over a new leaf, for I fear that if I do, I’ll find crud underneath it.

Next: 96. 3/14/12: Raudi’s Story