austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You might think a sweep's on the bottommost rung

I don't have any real objection to cleaning the house. I don't do it enough, but that's just because I find it dull. Our house is more subject to clutter than to being actually dirty anyway, except for the soap scum in the shower which I've made several efforts to clean up by stuff like Scrubbing Bubbles that are supposed to dissolve soap scum. Possibly I waited too long before starting to apply them and I've passed the point of no return.

However, we got into a cleaning streak, in advance of my mother's college friends being expected down for a college reunion. (We live just a few minutes away from my mother's undergraduate college, so that this house is the logical fathering area.) And as mentioned there wasn't much need to clean anything that was really dirty; it's just picking up things and making fewer yet taller piles. I also, per my father's request, swept up the floors, which was delayed because I have no idea where they keep the broom. Honestly. I've lived here a year and a half and I've never found the broom.

It's not kept in the laundry room, which would be my choice, or in the linen closet or in the pantry. Logically it must be kept in the garage, but there's just no finding it in there; too many and too disparate things. I asked my father where it is kept and he refused to tell me. He said I should wait there and he would get it, and he did. After I got everything swept up I was left with the question of whether I was authorized to know the location of the dustpan. I eventually cleaned that up by using a dry paper towel to scoop the biggest debris in the garbage bin, and then a damp paper towel to mop up the dirt, so, please don't worry about this problem further.

While we have the place cleaned up well there's a new peril that lasts when the floor is at its slickest. When my parents need to iron things they set the ironing board between the sofa and the kitchen half-wall, and spray starch left over falls on the floor there. When the floor is clean, therefore, there's this extremely slick patch that's pretty much exactly where I walk to get to the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. I can't wait for the place to get dusty again.

Trivia: On 10 June 1898, 650 men from the First Marine Division landed at Guantánamo Bay from the USS Panther, starting the United States's invasion of Cuba. Source: The Spanish War, G T A O'Toole.

Currently Reading: The Mother Tongue: English And How It Got That Way, Bill Bryson.


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