Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Peeking At Jesus

I will never win an award for housekeeping.
I am surrounded by sister-in-laws who keep orderly houses
as if it is no effort at all. I have never seen their homes
in the kind of disarray mine is in on a regular basis.
Not even when I've popped in unannounced.
One of them who has things just so.
I love the way it looks.
It isn't uncomfortable, just so orderly.
I sometimes ask dearest one if he doesn't wish
our house was like that.
He shudders and says no.
I know he would do something on purpose to wreck
the orderliness of it if I all of a sudden
improved my housekeeping skills.
He'd drop his coat in the middle of the floor and leave it there just
to remind me to relax a little. Which often baffles me because he is an
orderly person by nature.
I often feel bad he married someone who
has to work so hard to pick up after herself.
I do pick up after myself but it might be several weeks in the coming.
And I squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle, too.

I used to be an all or nothing person when it came to housekeeping.
Either total chaos or complete spotlessness.
Woe to anyone who wrecked the couch cover which
wrinkled up if someone so much as sat on it.
I don't miss those days.

Yesterday I spent the bulk of the day cleaning and
getting rid of piles of papers and such.
Last night I plugged in the mini Christmas lights
that have been on the top of the kitchen cupboards
for several years already.
I always mean to take them down, or at least vacuum
the dust off them, in between one Christmas and another
but so far it's just a pleasant thought.
When I plugged them in last night and surveyed the cleaned off
countertops and the warm glow I thought to myself,
"Yes, it's that time of year again."

I unwrapped the Advent calendar and set it up on the diningroom table. A table that a few hours earlier was strewn with newspapers and books and empty tea cups and the like. The calendar has sparkles and a nativity scene. I haven't had one like that for years. The stores here only offer ones of Santa Claus or Mickey Mouse. It always strikes me as odd to have Advent calendars like that. I don't think they call them Advent calendars, though. Just 24 numbered little doors with chocolates in them. When I was a child my great aunt (the one who I've modeled the novel on) bought an Advent calendar for the girls bedroom and one for the boys. I loved that little calendar. It had sparkles and a Nativity scene. I also couldn't wait to see what was behind those little doors. I remember my panic when I went ahead and peaked behind number 24 and then tried to make it stick back down like I hadn't opened it. It was one of those things that migh set my mom off and well, it would have been a little, okay a lot, ironic to beat a kid for peeking at Jesus, you know?

Well, didn't this post veer off into something I didn't see coming. There's no neat and tidy way to wrap it up either. I'm just thankful that clean house or not, impatience at waiting, or Jesus embraces us in it all.


Cat said...

I can completely relate to the all or nothing school of housecleaning!!! I giggled at myself when I read that - here I thought it was just me!

have a happy holiday.


Owen said...

So sorry to have missed your last batch of posts day by day while I was in hospital. May Jesus embrace you.

Anonymous said...

"And I squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle, too."

You are one wild and crazy chick, I tell ya. lol ;) Actually, I relate to the all or nothing scenario, too. You should see the place right now! Oy...

Interesting how the mind takes these little twists and turns and ends up at one of those rest-spot/vista point memories on the road, eh?


Anonymous said...

You got an amazing way of writing, you know that!

(Not that you have not heard it before or I havent said it before but it just struck me today in this post.)

Hugs, Gerry

Pru said...

It's funny to me - S. is the tidy one and while I may not be as disorganized as you, dear Mom, I do take more time to tidy up than he does. But guess which one must, MUST push the toothpaste out from the end? (It's not him.)