Monday, April 15, 2013

I see dirt, people

In our house there are two distinct ways of looking at dirt: I see it, The Big E doesn't. 

When I go away for a time, I always clean the house like a woman on a mission. It's one of the few times the house gets spotless, when I won't be here to enjoy it. Crazy yes, but it works for me. It means I get to come back to a nice clean home, making the end of the vacation that much easier.

This house cleaning before vacation gets a little dicey when I'm leaving somewhere but Ernst is staying here. It then becomes a bit like polishing the brass on the Titanic - Why? We once had a vacation where I was leaving first, Ernst was coming to join me, but while we were gone our friend Sherri would stay at our house during her husband's surgery. I left piles of sticky notes everywhere with threatening looking happy faces reminding him to keep it neat. Hopefully he remembered to toss the threatening looking happy face post-it notes, because I'm sure they're not on the list of Things That Make a Guest Feel Welcome.

Saturday on my way home, I was mentally preparing for the house to look a bit lived in. Ernst had a lot going on last week, plus I heard the wind did a number on the yard. There is also the daily shedding of half the hair from the dog, which all seems to end up in a big ball of fur right near the kitchen door. I thought of that episode from The Andy Griffith Show where Aunt Bea went away for a while. Andy and Opie were bachelors on the loose for a week, but they managed to clean up the house before Aunt Bea got home. At the last minute, they realized she would feel unneeded if she saw a spotless home, so they went to work and got the place all messy again. Foolish boys! 

Either he hired a housekeeper or he slept out in the trailer, because this place looked great. No big balls of dog hair, no dishes in the sink, no scary things in the bathroom. Wow, those post-it notes from the past are still working! With nothing to do but bask in the glory of a clean house, I decided to make a big pot of potato soup. It was chock full of carrots and onions and celery, plus a big bag of organic potatoes. I topped it off with Rice Dream and the various stray cartons of white vegan liquid in the fridge. Aaahhh, back from vacation in a clean house and now even dinner was ready. Time to jump in the shower while the soup bubbled away on the stove.

Bubbling away was the plan, but the reality was splurting and splashing and spraying - all those bad S words that make a kitchen a pain to clean up. It's amazing how far potato soup can travel all on its own. I could say this is an elaborate reverse Aunt Bea - Andy - Opie plan to make Ernst feel even better about his awesome housekeeping skills. That makes it his job to clean up the kitchen, right?

Simmer, it was supposed to simmer.