Friday, June 6, 2008


Having four kids and being a woman who felt it was easier to do all the housework herself rather than teach the kids to help, Mom often got behind on her household chores. Of course we children didn't much care. It never got outrageously bad, but Daddy was a perfectionist, and noticed anything that wasn't the way he wanted it to be. I think he was patient most of the time, or if he got on her about it, he did it in private. I do remember that as an adult I often thought that the way to get the house clean was to go outside and play, and when you came back in, it would be all nice and clean. It never worked for me as an adult. Now I've learned that daily doses are a lot easier than periodic panic cleaning.

We were talking about my Mom, though. I was remembering one night when Dad came home from work and decided to give her a little encouragement to get things picked up and cleaned really quickly. He was a Master Sergeant. We were pretty young at that time, but old enough to help if we had ever been taught what to do. Still, if handed something and told where to put it, we could do that. When Dad walked in, we all got ready to sit down for dinner as usual. While we were eating, Dad casually stated, "Earl and Dee are coming by for a visit."

You would have thought the rest of the meal was served in fast forward. Dishes were cleared and cleaned, the only job we youngsters actually were adept at doing, besides hauling out the trash. Then Mom started running through the house, starting at the front door. She picked up, put away, straightened, dusted, vacuumed... By eight o'clock the house looked pretty good, and Mom was about to head to her room to freshen up when she turned to my dad.

"What time did Earl say he and Dee would be here?"

"Oh, he didn't say. He just thought they should come by for a visit soon. I didn't say tonight. When should we have them over?"

At least the house looked really nice. And whatever Mom was thinking, she didn't say it out loud.

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