Saturday, December 01, 2007

Scrub Down Day

Saturday morning, still raining here in Joshua. Had a story put off, giving me a couple of days to get caught up on stuff. You know: Get the mortgage and electric bills covered, drive over and get the car insurance and water bills paid, look in the mirror and realize I haven't shaved this week or cut my nails. Got my truck back without--for now--needing the clutch I thought I needed (just added fluid to the clutch reservoir. Bought my tickets to Peru and into Iquitos, signed up a new person for the late January jungle jaunt--we're at break-even now, baby! And cleaned up a lot of dog poop from the puppy. Funny how the kids keep wanting to feed him but cut and run when he leaves 10 signature poops around the house.
But then...then it was time to face the laundry room. I've been putting it off for six years, and during those six years since it needed to be cleaned--starting about a month after we moved in here--I'm amazed at what we've been able to stuff in there. I mean besides the laundry and the washer and dryer.
It's not a big room, maybe eight-foot by twelve-foot. It hangs off the back of the house. I covered the spaces where it doesn't meet the house with duct tape a couple of years ago and that seems to be holding. Whew.
But then there are the four built in, deep shelves and the little closet next to them. In theory, one shelf has painting supplies, one has electrical supplies, one has tool boxes and one has the various fluids we use to keep the cars running. But somehow there are also 15 canvasses and a small easel stuffed in them. Dozens of boxes of screws and nails with an average of maybe one screw or nail each. Then there was the used condom (MARCO!!!!), the bird food the family of mice have been feasting on, used Christmas lights that never worked but were apparently worth saving. Bookends, two broken kites, dried sponges, tiles from the bathroom two tilings ago and I haven't even gotten to the bottom shelf yet. Six years and counting on that one.
Ah but there is more to the room. There's the fantastic black-walnut table I always loved but which fell out of favor with my kids years ago, and the New York City fold down school desk circa 1900 that Gail Roscetta stole from an empty school house for me in Manhattan so many Christmases ago. On top of it are my cookbooks, the shaved ice machine, the instant noodle soup cases, the extra rolls of paper towels, broken frames, the bottles of drinking water and back up large diet soda bottles. And the sox. The poor sox whose friends ran away months an years ago and who have no one to fold up with now. Dozens of them, lonely souls now relegated to the big black garbage bag that also holds the old stereo two deck tape player I'm finally willing to admit I probably will never have fixed, and all the mouse droppings I've swept up and the strands of holiday lights I'd rather buy again than try to repair.
And under the table: the still filled liter box from Prince the cat that no one ever changed, which is probably why Prince now lives outside. And there are still 36 quarts of the pickles I made in 2002--fabulous garlic dills that we ate so many of we haven't been able to look at them since then. There are also three large garbage bags and I haven't the courage to look to see what's in them yet. One is a bag of Madeleinae's stuffed animals: She cried when we reduced her menagerie from about 60 to a reasonable 40 a few years ago but wouldn't let us give them away, so they--along with the mystery-treat bags, sit among the bits of cat litter beneath that beautiful table. And then there are the several fishing poles which no one in this family has ever used, and the large stand-up painter's easel: The moment I bought it was the last time anyone put paint to palate around here. And there are science projects like the aunt farm pieces, and last month's sea monkey experiment (yes, you can kill them if you don't feed them) which sits among the numerous dark mold projects growing out of old coffee cans that I wasn't even aware any of the kids were working on.
Ah, I'm thinking maybe I should just loosen that duct tape and let that entire room fall right off the side of the house and into the back yard. We could build another, start again, couldn't we? We could collect new stuff that we don't want but won't get rid of. And I could have another six year time frame before I'd be forced to look into it very deeply.

1 comment:

Hummingbird said...

iA six-year cycle, eh?


I wave my magic wand. I click my pretty red shoes three times (I wanna go home, I wanna go home, I wanna go home...) with my eyes closed and face uplifted. I blow ashes of rose to the four corners of the earth. I dance a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.

I give it my best shot, in other words!

Hope it helps!!

:D Big grin.