As a mother and wife of 36 years, I have compulsory, built-in, labor intensive chores almost daily. I say almost daily as our house is empty nested and has been for a few years now. Young mothers will not believe this, but if you are blessed and have done your job well, your children will fly the coop someday and you will only have yourself and hopefully your spouse to care for and clean up after.
There will always be four, no, five laborious chores that will need tending to for the rest of your days, guaranteed! These chores are “characterized by or requiring care and much attention to detail; exhibiting excessive effort, dullness and lack of spontaneity. (dictionary.com) I mean, how many ways are there to clean the toilet, sinks, countertops, and wipe up the floor? But, somebody’s got to do it, right?
- Making that toilet bowl sparkle– I’ve always been a big fan of Comet cleanser. I suppose it’s because my mother used it when I was a kid and she still does today. However, I do like that Lysol spray w/ bleach, followed up by the antibacterial wipes for the rim, seat and floor beneath the throne. The joy truly comes the next time you use the commode. So fresh and clean!
- Dusting– We’re talking tv’s, bookshelves, knick knacks (defined as small worthless objects; especially a household ornament.) Not to neglect the tops of kitchen cabinetry, the refrigerator, your computer and window sills. The joy comes with the killing of spiders when you disrupt their nests in various hidden corners of your nest. (Fact: you are never not within three feet of a spider.) Not to mention the tv and computer screen seem clearer… brighter, somehow.
- Taking out the trash– it’s magical really. (My hens certainly benefit from cleaning out the cupboards and refrigerator, but old condiments, mystery bowls of gunk, wrappings, cereal boxes, and general waste fill my trash bin.) The garbage man comes right on schedule every Tuesday! I am grateful for those that collect my trash. I try not to have copious amounts of trash… but sh-t happens.
- Doing dishes– I do love me a sink full of hot, soapy water. I love soap and water. Did I mention I love soap and water. (I knit those old fashioned dish cloths, out of utter frustration and hyper activity, and I just love soaking them up and wiping down my counters with hot soapy water!) But really! With two people in this empty house how do so many dishes pile up? None the less, the bonus is getting up in the morning to an empty, clean sink to start again.
- Folding laundry– I don’t mind washing clothes. It’s easy. The river is just out back and I keep the washboard by the door for a quicker get away when the temps drop below freezing. I don’t even mind hanging them out on the line to freeze dry in the winter, which is only eight months out of the year around here. But seriously, how many times, ways and tedious hours can be spent folding the same articles of clothing? The upside is you only have you and your hubby’s to do now–not three little girls who changed their clothes every hour all day long for eighteen years.
All joking aside, I am quite happily privileged to do such tasks in this lifetime. My life could have turned out so differently. I must declare, I have been blessed! I am thankful to have a bathroom complete with running water–hot and cold. I love a toilet that flushes and works so magically and consistently. (I love soap!)
Dusting only emphasizes that I have extras. I have been given much. I love books, pictures of family, memorabilia of simpler times when the girls were little, and knick knacks that spur memories of beloved family and friends. To dust all of this keeps me hopeful and reminds me to watch out for spiders!
Taking out the trash keeps it real… really. I realize how blessed we are to eat food everyday, even if the packaging is ridiculous, and to pray for and help those who cannot afford to eat wholesome meals.
Again, doing dishes brings forth a grateful spirit. Dirty dishes means I ate and drank that day. Plus, I love dishes. I have a few sets and add to my collection regularly. I reassure Construction Man that I truly use everyone of those bowls in that cupboard!
The illustrious folding of the laundry is my weekly reminder that I am spoiled with such clean, warm, flattering habiliments with which to cover my nakedness. Plus, I get to pray for that person as I fold their shirt, that the Lord would bless their heart, make their shoulders and arms strong for the tasks at hand on the day they wear that piece.
There is good all around us. Especially in the mundane, laborious chores of each day. May you find joy today in your laboratory?!?! (That’s funny because laboratory, lavatory, laborious… oh well, forget it!)
Saddle up missy, we got a trail to blaze!