Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter Chores ~ my column from Sunday's paper

Last weekend, Jilda and I did our winter chores. We had a long list we wanted to complete before Thanksgiving Day. We had invited family and friends over for “Turkey Day,” and we wanted to make sure the house looked nice. They probably would not have cared that our house wasn’t super spiffy, but we would. We take pride in making the place look homey for our company.

After coffee, I thought about calling in reinforcements. Strong backs for the heavy lifting seemed like a wise course of action. I thought I’d bribe them with steaks, beer, and exotic vacations in exchange for a few hours of backbreaking labor.

But I remembered Alabama was playing an evening game, and they’d managed to score inexpensive tickets. I admit the window of opportunity for the plan was narrow, but I hoped it was doable.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized there was no way those boys would wear themselves out before the game. They are too much like me.

So rather than ask my potential volunteers to work, and hearing them laugh uncontrollably as I call them unkind names without regard to political correctness or any modicum of civility, I decided we’d suck it up and do it ourselves.

After coffee, I said to Jilda, “This stuff won’t do itself.” So, we commenced.

I dragged the ladders out and washed our floor to ceiling windows. The ceiling on the inside of the house is 14 feet at the apex. Outside it is better than 16. I guess it’s close to an acre of glass on the front of our house. After about an hour of rubbing and a few dozen trips up and down the ladder, the windows were spotless.

Then I cleaned our ceiling fan. From the floor, I could see dust bunnies on the blades as big as beagles.I dragged the shop-vac up the ladder and made short work of that chore.

After this, we started on the one I dreaded.The tropical trees and plants that summer outside our front glass have to come inside before the first frost. Also, a philodendron that
Jilda inherited from her mom, who inherited it from her mom in 1965. So, it’s been with Jilda since Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. It’s a beast with gnarly roots and leaves as big as hubcaps.

We haven’t repotted the plants in some time, and when I wrestled the old pots off, you couldn’t see the soil. The only thing visible was a tangled web of roots. When I tried to break them apart, they were as hard as teak. I wound up hacking them apart with my pocket knife.

When I finally managed to break them apart, I could almost hear a sigh of relief. We purchased larger pots and placed the old plants into the new pots with fresh potting soil. They should be happy for a year or two.

Getting the plants inside was a challenge since each of them weigh just slightly less than a piano. But I borrowed some hand trucks from my brother-in-law and began the heavy lifting. Grunting like the front four of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, we got all plants cozied up inside. These trees are like old friends and make our great room feel like we’re outdoors even in the dead of winter.

After supper, I slipped into the TV room to watch the game. It was hard to concentrate becauseI was so weary that I was nodding out by the end of the third quarter.

By the end of the fourth quarter, we were both sound asleep.

Hard work is one of the best sleep aids available.

14 comments:

  1. Dang, reading this made me tired.

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  2. I just love your writing:) it made me smile. I hate window cleaning because no matter how hard I try, I always have streaks. I think the best in vinegar and water. That is a long time for a plant and it's nice that she has something like this handed down. Glad you both have green thumbs

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  3. Your plant is probably older than my kids--& they're ALL in their 50's!!

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  4. No wonder I don't sleep well. I don't work hard enough.

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  5. Wow.
    You done good. Very, very good.

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  6. Gosh your post made me tired .
    But how sweet that you care so much for your friends and family to feel at home when they are with you.
    Ceiling fan cleaning is my hubby department though even looking at him doing so makes me crazy as we live in a Sandy and airy area where dust is uninvited guest every day.
    We have small garden and keep our turn to maintain it .
    After doing as much no one can understand what is going on t.v .but one thing is clear that tiredness is brings a precious sleep along which one may miss sometimes

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  7. Gosh your post made me tired .
    But how sweet that you care so much for your friends and family to feel at home when they are with you.
    Ceiling fan cleaning is my hubby department though even looking at him doing so makes me crazy as we live in a Sandy and airy area where dust is uninvited guest every day.
    We have small garden and keep our turn to maintain it .
    After doing as much no one can understand what is going on t.v .but one thing is clear that tiredness is brings a precious sleep along which one may miss sometimes

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  8. Just read your profile. You are multi talented person. Good to have you here .God bless

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  9. You did good getting all that done in one day! It's a great feeling of accomplishment when you get a job like that completed. My winter chores are done, I did get the dust bunnies off the ceiling fans but didn't do any windows. If I'm still here in the spring I'll do them then, but hopefully I'll be making a fresh start in a new place by the first of the year. We'll see...

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  10. I have a few things that need to be done around my house . . . hint hint. You've recovered by now, haven't you? You'd like a trip to Florida, wouldn't you?

    Love,
    Janie

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  11. Oh I hate cleaning ceiling fans. I think they are more of a dust collector than anything else.
    Lisa

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  12. I need to do more hard work, it might help me sleep better.. wow, kudos to you and Jilda, that is a lot of work. I bet the trees look lovely inside the house xox

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  13. I had to smile at the high windows. I built a house for my brother to plans they had picked at one point they had windows that high. SIL asked, "Jack, how am I gonna clean those windows?" I said of course , not my problem.

    I do love the A frame. I do wish I had built one, I think I would have cleansed the windows readily, which I am sure you did. Now at this time in life the 'A' is out. But I am glad you guys have one.

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  14. I am glad you had to do that instead of me because I would be falling down from exhaustion if it was my list of chores

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