While poking around online the other day, I ran across an article entitled “48 Things That Will Help Lazy People Be Way Cleaner”—a poorly titled but interesting compendium of products designed to make cleaning the family manse more efficient, less time consuming and “way more fun.” Or so the author claimed. I’ll spare you said list. More to the point is the energy required to get it all done. I figure there’s no more housework to do mid-pandemic than in times past, and considering that many of us are home so much right now, we should have no problem fitting it all in, right? Not so fast.
Prior to Covid, I was a cooking fiend, a cleaning whirlwind—splitting my time and energy between switching out massive loads of laundry, mopping floors (hats off to the inventors of Swiffer and its various iterations) and the obsessive preparation of the rafts of meals needed to get us through the week. These days I might vacuum a room or two, run a load of laundry if the mood grabs, before face-planting on the couch for a much needed mid-morning nap.
So much for all my former get up and go, those once legendary organizational skills. Ironing, something I’ve long enjoyed for its calming, repetitive motion and comforting smells evocative of my grandmother’s ancient electric mangle, is long in my rear-view. And dusting? Fuggetaboutit. Dust bunnies are the least of my problems just now (more on that in a few).
And then there are the plants, of which I have many. I’m here to tell you that the dead and desiccated are just as attractive in their own way as those still absorbing sunlight and sucking up water. They’re certainly easier to take care of. In fact if you look at them at just the right angle, they take on a stark, sculptural beauty—a kind of brittle statuary, if you will.
A good friend who happens to be a therapist suggests I might be depressed. You think? Could it be that with all that’s currently going on in the politico-econo-pandemic vein, avoiding the usual cleaning routine is my only acceptable method of rebellion? A cry for a return to normalcy, perhaps? My all-too-cheerful, semi-retired husband who arrives home each afternoon and heads to the barn eager to attack his long list of next season’s boat projects (such industry!) suggests that bringing someone in to “help” with the heavy lifting might just be the ticket, but frankly my house isn’t all that large and there’s really not much of anything to “lift.” I suspect he’s humoring me in hopes I’ll snap out of it and the piles of clean tighty-whities he’s so used to seeing in his dresser drawer will return in more dependable numbers.
In closing, I return to the subject of dusting and a little bon mot pulled yet again from the Internet…
You come from dust.
You’ll return to dust.
That’s why I don’t dust.
After all, it could be someone I know!
Darcy Scott (Winner, 2019 National Indie Excellence Award; Best Mystery, 2013 Indie Book Awards; Silver Award, 2013 Readers Favorite Book Awards; Bronze Prize, 2013 IPPY Awards) is a live-aboard sailor and experienced ocean cruiser with more than 20,000 blue water miles under her belt. For all her wandering, her summer home and favorite cruising grounds remain along the coast of Maine—the history and rugged beauty of its sparsely populated out-islands serving as inspiration for much of her fiction, including her popular Maine-based Island Mystery Series. Her debut novel, Hunter Huntress, was published in Britain in 2010.