Sunlight is pouring into my house after nearly a week's worth of rain. Tomorrow we have scheduled another open house, which is exactly what needs to occur until this place is sold. Of course, it's a tough time to have your house on the market. But the ever-readiness to show nudges my housekeeping chops to the mark. Albeit Me the Housekeeper felt more like Me the Slattern during the recent holiday season.
If you've raised a houseful of children, you know the pattern of their joyous returns and their flurries of exodus. The house stood still and expectant in early December, tidy, compliant from its series of open house showings. Then came all the prodigals--from Africa, Arizona, Washington, D.C., New York City. It was a happy jumble of car-sharing, birthdays, reunions with friends and family. And the house began to degrade inexorably. This is called "feeling at home." That's when I remembered all the years of chore charts, exhortations, rewards, threats, piles: impressions spinning as endlessly as the washer did back when I still had collagen. But soon enough, everyone began packing and departing. This is where the story gets good.
Once everyone left, it took awhile to restore the house to order. From that point, and as far as I am concerned, into the future, I was able to resume my hobby, Shopping in the House. Shopping in the House is not an isolated phenomenon. If you've lived with anyone, surely there is detritus left behind once these anyones move on. It's one thing to clean up their messes. But it's far more delightful to stumble upon little unexpected treats, and this is the premise of Shopping in the House. It doesn't cost a thing (except that you have probably already paid for the stuff if your kids left it). Today for example, I was rummaging in the cupboard and I found two bags of authentic fry bread mix! You can make crepes from it, I discovered. When I was dusting a bookcase, I found a Frank Sinatra CD that I don't recall. It's got Frank phrasing words like "...groovy." Hmm.
My Shopping finds include beauty supplies that I would never buy for myself. I found a delicate bottle of Vera Wang perfume! Wow! I found a talisman necklace that I later learned was a good luck charm blessed by a tribal priest in Togo. That helped me through a challenging time at work. And what about those dramatic earrings that looked like a pair of small garbage can lids? Now those caused people to comment. I cannot recommend Shopping in the House highly enough. It turns dross into platinum, banality to beneficence. Poke around a little. You'll become a convert. There's treasure to be hunted in our very midst every day.