Unclean? Most Likely

It came in the mail a few weeks ago, The advertisement from The Cleaning Authority: Clean Homes, Clean Earth.

“Unhappy with your MAID SERVICE?” reads the pamphlet. Yeah, I’m unhappy with my maid service! “Maybe it’s time to clean house!” Yes, my house always needs a good cleaning. It, in no way, resembles anything you’d find in a magazine or home catalog. My domestic help is lacking in both skills and motivation and I open the mailer to see what’s to be done.

The advertisement from The Cleaning Authority includes a list of services these Mighty Angels of Hygiene will perform on a regular and rotating basis. I glance at the list, intending to toss it in the recycle bin with all the other requests for money, but don’t. It’s a gripping read…fascinating and sort of horrifying. I’ve nothing against them….except the damn bar. They’ve raised the bar! I liked the bar.

“Save this chart”, it reads “and next time your cleaning service leaves, take it around and see if they did everything we do.”

These delightful experts will dust ceiling fans, dust lamps shades, clean windowsills, and wipe the fronts of appliances...ON A REGULAR BASIS. These need to be done? On a regular basis? You kidding me? Base boards wiped, kitchen furniture hand wiped, furtiture and upholstery vacuumed. These need to be done, too? The only time my kitchen chairs are hand-wiped is when they are lucky enough to suffer a spill. Shower doors given extra attention. Shower doors? I don’t even have shower doors. Now, I have to get shower doors in order to give them the extra attention they, regularly, need.

What kind of mother am I without sanitized floors and hand-wiped furniture? The crushing inadequacy! I consider hanging it on the fridge to refer to it every so often to check whether I’ve scrubbed my grout and spot cleaned my doors. Maybe, I’ll work my way down the list and start back on the top and I stop. No.

I toss it in the recycling and pour another cup of coffee. There, I cleaned up.

Moth at Midnight

The full moon lit the hallway at midnight. I was still half asleep when I stepped out into the hall and was groggily surprised to meet a man with a sword. He was side-stepping, cautiously toward the bathroom; I was just thirsty.

And there was my son, looming tall, home for Spring Break, and armed in the middle of the night, laughing quietly.  Of course.

“It’s in there.” He whispers gesturing with, what I see now is, a wooden kitana. The sword, I notice blearily, has been improved with the addition of a ruler attached to the end. It’s clamped to the end of the sword, clamped with a Staples alligator clamp. Of course.image

“It’s really big and it’s so loud.” He grabbed the flexible ruler and twanged it with a sproing sound. “Aren’t you glad you sent me to college?” He laughed.

Okay, I’m barely awake and not prepared for these kind of deep questions. I just want a drink of water. I kind of don’t want to know what’s loud and threatening in the bathroom at midnight. I don’t know what you plan to do with the sproinging Kitana to subdue the invader.image

I decide I’m not equipped to face the upstairs bathroom and whatever has taken up residence and turn to forage downstairs for a drink. It might or might not be water at this point, it’s too weird upstairs.

But, my son keeps laughing quietly as he stalks the bathroom and I see his hand-crafted distance weapon. But, in the other hand, I see a cup. “It’s a bug.” He whispers.

He’s planned ahead. One hand defends himself from the creepy, loud bug; the other hand is for mercy. He intends to catch and release the bug, whatever it is, into the night.image

Aren’t you glad you sent me to college? We both laugh in whispers. I take the cup and he covers me, leaning into the doorway above me. I trap the spooky moth and we release it into the moonlight.

One hand for protection, the other for kindness. Aren’t I glad? Yes, yes I am. Of course.

Toothpaste Expectations

This past week I found myself standing, bewildered, in my local discount pharmacy. Someone has had the temerity to aggressively rearrange and refurbish the whole store without ever asking me.

Gone, is the dim and occasionally flickering light, replaced with bright, white LEDs. Gone, is the friendly collection of commingled out-dated and too early holiday candy and stuffed toys. Their shelf is gone, too. Continue reading “Toothpaste Expectations”

Overlook

imageNews from Washington goes from bad to worse.

Our US Constitution, our Air, and Water, and Health and our Lives are under threat, damaged, and broken. And, we are given Alternate Facts, as if repeating lies is the same as the truth.

And, here we are, the road still rises and stretches before us. We can’t know how far it must take us. Let’s remember the importance rest and breath.

Forces of Nature: hurricanes, typhoones, tornadoes, and us, we must make time to inhale before moving mountains.

UniverseCheck.

Photo Credit: Anita Bowen Photography

Semi-Preparedness

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Finally, we stand numbly at the brink of the end of December. The year of 2016 has lurched, exhausted, to a close.  With a mix of relief and of trepidation I prepare to turn the last calendar page of 2016 to uncover January 2017.  I’m fairly certain, I’m not the only one who feels more than a bit hesitant to let another year in after the chaos we are preparing to sweep out the door. Continue reading “Semi-Preparedness”

A Little Uncertainty

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We are heading into uncertain times. The Magic 8 Ball, shaken,

says, “Future Unclear; try again later.”

I can be brave if you’re with me; we’ll hold hands and lean in.

You walk with me and I’ll walk with you.

We are stronger together.

Universe Check.

Photo Credit: Anita Bowen Photography

Wait, What just happened?

It’s not that I’m disappointed because my candidate didn’t win. My candidates have lost before, several times. I never before experienced the intense grief I’ve been wrestling with since I awoke on Wednesday, November 9. I never before felt the need to attend a prayer vigil following any election, as if someone had died.image

I’ve  been thinking about what, exactly, is the source of this nauseous rage. It’s not that my candidate lost. It’s that this election cycle has uncovered the seedy underbelly of my country in a way that none other has. The extreme, and apparently acceptable, level of violence against women, against people of color, against the LGBT community, and the disabled is absolutely horrifying. hatecrime5 Continue reading “Wait, What just happened?”

Reaching Out

soilI spent this early Spring afternoon with my hands in the soil. I knelt and methodically weeded and loosened the winter-packed earth. Then, carefully smoothed the surface and measured out my rows and gently settled the tiny seeds,  alternating and repeating double rows of lettuce, spinach, and carrots. The sun warmed my back; the breeze still blew with a chill. The earth released the scent of hope.

Continue reading “Reaching Out”