Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cleaning chaos

I did it! Sort of. Now don't get too excited. I didn't finish writing another manuscript. My editor didn't call to tell me that they're accepting a novel I already submitted. No, my great accomplishment of the weekend is a clean house. Sort of.

To understand the significance of this accomplishment, let me help you visualize the normal state of my beloved home. I have a three-year-old...need I say more? Okay, I also have two very active teenagers, one of whom prefers to be anywhere but at home, and the other who prefers to hide in her room (I think her room is behind that door) to read books, draw, and pursue other solitary activities. The nine-year-old wants only one thing: to be outside playing with the neighbors. My husband commutes 90 miles a day, so he is understandably not likely to do a lot of housekeeping when he is home. (I'm grateful that he sometimes cooks dinner!) The result of these very active lives that intersect at my address is, quite simply, chaos.

People who live around these parts can tell you I'm not the sort that gets embarrassed if people drop by unannounced and find me sitting at my computer amidst a cluttered house. After all, why should I get embarrassed about getting caught living my normal life? Walking through the door is often an obstacle course, causing the visitor to pick their way through shoes, toys, and yes even broken airplanes. The antique cradle that sits inside my front door to hold my family's shoes is usually surrounded by flip flops, cletes and tennis shoes. The cradle itself is often empty.

My son's building project of the day is usually in the middle of the family room except on Monday nights when we insist everyone pitch in to help clean it so that we can have our weekly family activity nights. (By Monday nights, we usually have mulitple projects to clean up.)

So what changed my normally chaotic atmosphere this weekend? No games. That's right. Not one. No soccer games, no football games, not even a piano recital. We had the whole weekend with the kids at my command, list of chores in hand, and the threat that no one was leaving until I could see every surface in the house. As they started on their lists, I did mounds and mounds of laundry -- eight loads counts as mounds, doesn't it? Every time I came down the stairs after sorting yet another load, I could see a little more progress.

Sure enough, by the the time I went to bed last night, I could see all of my floors, the laundry was done, and the shoes were all in the shoe box. You know what this means, don't you? No one is coming over today. After all, they would probably think that they were in the wrong house! I heard about a sign not long ago that I need to get to hang by my front door. It reads something like, "My house was clean yesterday. Sorry you missed it." It fits, don't you think?


so grateful to be Mormon! said...

wow traci, good for you really. i feel guilty sometimes for i know i spend far too much time on the computer at times. having too much fun with this. last night in the middle of the night, i wrote some more of this project i am trying to finish (about my girls's journals when they were little). it is important to me to have the record of all the text from those memories when they were little. hope to see you today. and i am so first for commenting. i love being first :)

happy Sabbath, kathleen

Davis Bigelow said...

I need a sign like that for my door too, but it wouldn't wear out very fast - unless our Jack Russel chewed it.
Traci, I very much like the cover of your book, "The Deep End". It makes me want to pick it up and dive in. Nice choice on its layout!

Avery Gray said...

I knew there was a reason I liked you! ;o) I have a magnet on the fridge that says, "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life." That's the motto I live by.

Leslie said...

My house is a constant clutter! Luckily, we host my daughter's playgroup about once a month, so it gets a good cleaning then (because I'm a little neurotic about the playgroup).

Ajoy said...

I'm happy to read we are of the same mold. Though, I do get embarassed easily. I wish I didn't and you'd think that would inspire me enough to keep a spotless home...nope. We have 5 children 10 years old and younger...either the downstairs is all clean or the upstairs. You pick. My house is NEVER all clean at once. grrrr

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

i love that saying avery quoted -- "a clean house is a sign of a wasted life." funny!

i also like the sign "my other bathroom is cleaner!" isn't that a hoot?

hey traci -- totally had fun with you today. thanks for sharing, kathleen :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Traci,

I came home to a clean house the other day and didn't recognize it at first. But then I saw you at your usual spot -- at the computer -- so I guess it was my home. Note to self... Get rid of that plush, comfy computer chair that I got for you that you're in all day typing your novels and bogspots and replace it with a hard, uncomfortable stool. ;-))

Love, Jon (Traci's husband)

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

you anonymous hubby's comment made me chuckle :)

if i were rich, i would totally buy maid service for life for me and everyone i love!

:) kathleen