Saturday, November 29, 2008

Deep Cleaning

It was an evening of "deep cleaning". The kids were away, and I was steam cleaning my carpets. I had borrowed the steam cleaner from a friend of mine, in hopes of being able to get the house in top shape for the holidays. I had intended for it to be a day long project, but an unexpected (and now rare!) opportunity to work some overtime at the hospital turned it into an evening project. The first of several, I'm sure!

I moved the little bookcase in the hall and started there, turning briefly into the entry of my son's room, in hopes that this would be effective on the cherry-colored Kool-aid stain just inside his doorway.

I then headed to the living room. This room is well-loved. Kids - mine and others' - the dog and I spend a lot of time there. It's the major thoroughfare between the front door and the back deck, and it abuts the island where we eat. It's also original to the house, which makes it long past it's expected lifespan.

I moved the small furniture and miscellaneous 'stuff' out of the way, an turned to look at the dog laying in his kennel. He had tried to protect me from the loud creature that had invaded the hall and was moving into the great room.

I became aware of the life-parallel as I was moving back and forth over the cream colored carpet below my feet. Sometimes my life needs a "deep clean". Sometimes, when I do, I must over and over the same area - from all different angles - untangling the fibers of habit and routine, trying to get the stains out.

Sometimes, the help of friends - like the one who lent me the steam cleaner - facilitate the process, but mostly, it's something I must do on my own.

It's amazing to me, too - to see the waste-water. I am amazed - and appalled - at how dirty it looks. It's not like I don't vacuum routinely. There is general care and maintenance in my home and in my life. But, in "deep clean" mode, the day to day "dirt" gets highlighted - and hopefully removed.

As I finish for the evening - I'll repeat the process tomorrow or the next day! I am amazed at how pleased I am with the results. I am amazed how the work I put into it shows.

And then I free the dog from his cage. I witness another parallel. He seems less than pleased with what has happened in his life, as a result of what has happened in mine. Some of the changes are temporary - the furniture will be returned to it's rightful place once the floor is dry. But, it is noticeably different. I assume, by the way he sniffed around continuously, it smells differently.

He finishes sniffing around and goes straight for the cleaner. He bangs it with his nose, pushing it backwards toward the wall. When it refuses to be pushed further, he barks his disdain. He continues until I call to him, and beckon him to me, rubbing his back and his belly. "It's OK, Jake. It's a Good thing", I reassure him. He needs to settle down - the process has only yet begun!

It's a good thing... May the process continued unhindered!

No comments: