I Give Up
People such as I who have come from the relative cleanliness of the city to the relative funkiness of the country eventually come to this conclusion: There’s no way to keep up with chores and also keep the house immaculate. I allow that there may be some among you who are clones of the White Tornado. You can do it all. But I’ll wager that most of you are like me. You can’t do it all. Something has got to give. In my world what gave was housework. I was never that good at it to begin with, but out here the environment stacks the deck against you.
Recently we got the blessing of much needed rain. I’m trying to stay in the blessing frame of mind. We’ve had two solid days and there’s already accumulation to the tippy-top of my rain catchment system. Ya-hoodelly-hoo! Unfortunately there’s already accumulation of dirty footprints (dog and human) and little droplets of mud and various detritus all over the house. Someone in their infinite wisdom made our mudroom the size of a dog house. I’d like to call Uncle Guido and have him make that person swim with the fishes. So in an effort not to go insane I am relaxing my standards until the rain stops long enough to dry the place out. I can’t go around with a dust pan or mop and clean up after every sloppy entry point. Trust me. I’m not the vinyl-covered sofa person. I’m quite organic as compared to the next person. But enough is enough. There’s only so much a person can do.
Here’s one of my favorite poems for those of you house-bound in the midst of wintry entropy. Reading it always gives me some perspective.
Dust if You Must
Dust if you must but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter
Bake a cake or plant a seed
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must but there’s not much time
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb
Music to hear and books to read
Friends to cherish and life to lead.
Dust if you must but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes and wind in your hair
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain
This day will not come around again.
Dust if you must but bear in mind
Old age will come and it’s not kind
And when you go and go you must
You, yourself, will make more dust!
Now go out there and do what you want – or need – to do!
I Love a Rainy Day
A rainy day on the farm.
Reading about housekeeping a century ago makes me grateful that I live now!
Miss Houdinis Close Call
There is always tension between so-called “civilization” and “where the wild things are” as Maurice Sendak said. Rural living on the edges of wilderness teaches us that we can live in that tension but it’s not always easy.