happiness living within your environment

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.

Marie Condo

Years after military service, some veterans remain dedicated, both in remaining physically fit and keeping their affairs “shipshape”. I do not count myself among that number but make a decent effort in both categories. Walking dogs daily over the last twenty years has the benefit of keeping me always moving. I got started on home renovations when our youngest became an adult and moved out on his own. Landscaping was another planned-for major improvement once the dogs passed over the Rainbow Bridge. They both are healthier than ever. Had I not started last Fall, it might still remain six or eight years into the future. While modernizing a sixty-year old home is ongoing, our place was in good shape long before the Pandemic. Keeping dirt out though is another matter entirely in El Cajon, California.

There is only so much one can do to keep a house clean as dog-people. “Tidy” is manageable. With a doggie-door opening into the backyard, mopping dusty or muddy paw prints, gathering up wafting doghair, and vacuuming a dog-worn rug are routine. My wife and I divided the chores, among them leaving me to walk the dogs and take them to the groomers, and the “outside” – keeping the landscaping presentable, filling in holes and picking up after the dogs in their area. Sheri would plan vacuuming or scrubbing the tile floors for times I took the dogs on a long walk or to their appointment with the groomer. And for a couple days, my wife and I do enjoy gleaming tile, counters, and “clean” aroma.

Yet the best attitude is on display in our dogs, which oddly is both Japanese and biblical in origin. Remaining content in whatever circumstances, whether when I was painting or while men were drilling and sawing in various parts of the house during the last year. Dexter has still got a long way to go remaining content particularly where loud noise is involved. Comet is content to wait for me to notice that he has some four-day old paint in his coat. His happiness is letting me make such things my concern.

painter’s helper

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances

-Philippians 4:11 (New International Version)


  1. Boy do I feel all that cleaning and it getting dirty quickly. Dog, cat, and horse people here. Plus grand dogs and grand cats and grandkids. Man do they bring in the grime. All good stuff though. It’ll get a temporary cleaning when they leave or at least settle down a little.

    Liked by 1 person

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