There’s something refreshing about coming home to a clean house after being gone for a few days of rest and relaxation. For those who know me, you may recognize that though my home is filled with two teen boys, excuse me — young men! — and a hubby, I am not the sole house cleaner.
I’ve always felt that summer is ripe for extended chores for everyone. This habit was passed on to me through the generations as my grandmother saddled us with chores when my siblings and I spent summers with her. Today, with my own family, we delegate chores, and I seldom wash dishes, especially during summer. For example, when the kitchen sink is full, Johnny or I simply yell, “Who’s turn is it to wash dishes?” Suddenly, a figure emerges, ready to tackle that task. Oh, how I love summer!
However, while everyone has specific duties, my house is very much lived-in, and if you look hard enough, you may find some dust bunnies lurking under the couch. You are likely to see piles…of newspapers, mail, books, papers. Try as I might to keep the kitchen counters and table clear, the piles have a mind of their own. Like a strong magnetic pull, these piles are drawn to most every countertop!
When I was a teenage, I didn’t appreciate that my dad was a stickler for everything being tidy before the family could leave for a road trip. Now this “trip” could be a family vacation, a shopping trip down to Charleston, or even a visit to relatives within a 30-mile radius – it didn’t matter. If my siblings and I didn’t clean the kitchen to his satisfaction, even if the car was packed and we were ready to jump in, my father would call us back to do it right. Other times, we would find him in the kitchen wiping down the countertops and stove, if necessary. Of course, I enjoyed a neat house, but I couldn’t appreciate its value, or the work that made it so.
What’s the lesson here? I simply feel compelled to teach our boys the ways of housework. Actually, it’s our duty as parents to raise them to be independent young men once they leave our home. But for right now, housecleaning 101, followed by cooking 101 are the courses of the day.
And no matter how much fun we have on vacation, or how grand the accommodations, nothing beats returning to my own beautiful, clean-ish abode.
Lynne B. Ford is enjoying life in Pawleys Island. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.