There is a difference between living in a house and cleaning that house. This basic fact of life has been made quite clear to me over the past few weeks. Now that I am retired (applause) and Peggy is still working 4 days a week until next fall, I thought I could take over the housecleaning and laundry type stuff.
The first thing I realized was that I should have been doing more of this all along.
The second thing I realized is that it's much easier to vacuum the steps if one starts at the top and works one's way down.
The third thing happens every time. When I go around with the duster or the can of paste wax, instead of just walking past objets d'art, decorations, knick knacks, gewgaws and memorabilia, I actually have to pick them up and do something with them...dust them, wipe them down or wax them. And this gives me the pleasant experience of recalling where we got the thing being dusted, wiped or waxed. Take our bedroom furniture. There's the bed and bureaus we got from Hochschild-Kohn right before we got married in 1973, and there's the hand-painted box that my Dad made when I was a kid, and there is this and that that we've gotten from antique stores and antique relatives. (!)
All of this brings back memories. My collection of Oriole and Ravens memorabilia allows me to remember meeting ballplayers, going to games and events, and that's a canoe ride down Memory Creek every time. Dusting the bookshelves, I remember reading certain books and think of knowledge I got from this volume or that.
I think it's interesting that, just the other day while vacuuming, I needed to rearrange the wires underneath the computer table at which I sit to pound out these scattered thoughts. I needed to see what was going on with the wire that connects the PC to the printer and the other dingus. Sure, I have any number of LED flashlights in every room except the guest room (when we have overnight guests, I don't want them horsing around with flashlights all night long. It would only make them late for their blueberry pancakes in the morning) but I chose to grab my Dad's World War II Navy flashlight. Every time I use it, I wonder how he felt, using this very flashlight aboard the USS Delta while men from other navies were doing the same thing on their ships. That very flashlight has been mine since Dad passed away, but it's only been since I retired that I've had to time to ponder the very real significance of articles around the house.