Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gooey House

A friend of mine went to help her son move. He was moving to a duplex he owned. His previous, troublesome renters were off the charts in the messiness realm. He wondered if they ever took their dogs out to the bathroom. Then he wondered if any person ever used the bathroom. My friend helped him clean, prep and paint after the carpet was hauled away and the hardwood floors redone.

With big eyes and her gag reflex almost taking over, she regaled me with the horrid details. Not only were the burner linings on the stove hopeless, but there was at least an inch of gore under the top when lifted. The oven after 3 hours hadn't improved. Cooked on slime, melted cheese, drips, gross sides and a thick layer on the bottom made the decision to just get a new stove easy.

When she tackled the fridge, she said she didn't know how some of the food could have arrived in that location. BBQ sauce, mold, stickiness and rot everywhere. Fridges being spendy, she plugged away till it was presentable. It took hours. Every piece had to be taken apart and soaked.

As she talked about it, I was trying to capture how my stove and fridge looked at the moment. What I imagined, scared me! Seeing it through her eyes terrified me!

I have a serious handicap. I don't see the broken fence, I see the flowers. I don't see the sock on the floor, but the candlelight. The clothes piled on the love seat hide behind the lovely pictures of my children covering the wall. Dishes in the sink are camouflaged by the cuttings rooting in the window. The kitchen table is unusable because of a creative moment. Many times in the garden I simply don't see the weeds, as the flowers dazzle me. I see the dewdrops on the pines out my window, instead of the streaks on the window.

It is a blessing and a curse. I never usually apologize when someone comes unexpectedly; however, I do warn them as I clear a trail, offer them a blankie and a cup of something hot. It's a curse because I love neat and tidy and organized, but just don't notice the mess! My mother is a neat freak and has never understood why I want to live like this. I don't! The blessing is that there have been years and years of beautiful messes at our house. People with magazine picture houses don't let 30 kids pull taffy, make gingerbread houses, have hair dying parties, etc. Being creative, letting others be creative, having fun and easy fellowship means you can't worry too much about how pretty your house is before, during or after. I want people to leave feeling like they have been well loved, full and with a memory or something in their hand as we wave them off from the porch.

I do hope no one gets food poisoning, diphtheria or typhoid at our house though!

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