Friends came over to visit me today. Last evening Dan and I talked about coming over for lunch, and then he texted me to say his wife Judy wanted to come too. So Judy is bringing lunch. I started to pick up a little bit around the house. Dexter and Comet had been walked so they were sleepy. In the drizzle of a cool April day in San Diego, I would enjoy having people over.
All was calm as I casually texted my missus about them coming by. “Can you vacuum a little?” she replied.
I hate to admit that, twenty years after my naval Active Duty service ( that is, when I “lived” Navy 365 days a year) and nearly ten years after my Reserve retirement ceremony, “field day” has slipped from four times a day, with “sweepers” and inspection-ready scrubbing, to once a week. (But my wife does a lot of picking up when I am sound asleep. Something about her insomnia leads to laundry and “field day”). Left to me, vacuuming is when hairballs start pushing passed me at feeding time for Dexter and Comet.
Dog people know it is a trade-off when you share a home with pets. I do not mean to imply that you give up completely, but some people with pets that shed hair like mine do, set a different bar for “clean”. I’m happy when I come home and the couch has not exploded all over the living room, or on rainy days, mud has not been liberally spread from living room to mom n’ dad’s comforter. ( I really have to get our bedroom door latch fixed!)
With Comet and Dexter, there is no sealing the house off from the outside. And living in El Cajon dust, we rarely have a dirt-free day off.
And that leads to the routine during my recuperation and when friends are coming over. Vacuuming. Making sure there are no squeaky dog-toys underfoot, and couch cushions are properly back in the couch. I almost overlooked the fragments of dog bones in the carpet, And in the time since I passed the vacuum through the hallway, a wad of dog hair settled in my wake. I took a wet rag to the muddy paw print-patterned white tile (often more a tan).
But the most satisfying, and achievable “clean” comes in a capful of Pine Sol. A little in sinks, toilets, and basins. I know from those home-renovator shows, “baked chocolate chip cookies” is a pleasing scent. For me, a little pine “aromatherapy” is awesome.