Yesterday the weather was spectacular -- all sunshine, dry fresh air, soft breezes, moderate temperatures. John finally mowed the lawn, leaving plenty of islands of native plants and shrubbery to satisfy me, but getting enough nicely clipped lawn to satisfy his masculine pride. While he ran the mower outside, I ran the vacuum inside. We made lots of noise, and used lots of fossil fuel.
I have this bizarre, morbid fear every time I go on a major trip, that I will die in car or plane crash and when the mourners come to the house they will think that I was a terrible housekeeper. So, before I take off on a trip I feel it necessary to do a big burst of cleaning.
The reality is that I am a terrible housekeeper. Most people do the vacuuming and dusting I did yesterday every week or even more frequently. I wasn't always this lackadaisical about housework. But in the last 15 years, since John came into my life, other things have become more important than keeping house.
House cleaning is cathartic -- works up a sweat and you can see real results at the end. For the moment, the house looks as good as its likely to get -- given all the patched floors, water stained ceiling tiles, and the accoutrements (e.g., litter boxes) of nine cats, the toys of one dog, and the paraphernalia of one husband engaged in running and lifting.
And if the plane goes down my last thoughts won't be about dust on the bookshelves and cat hair on the carpet.