Saturday, May 14, 2011


I have no idea what it really means, but my mother always used to say, especially in the springtime, "I cleaned the house to a fare-thee-well."

Actually, I got the message.  She cleaned the house thoroughly. Spring cleaning, I understand. I'm a proponent of it. Windows open, spring breezes wafting through, winter dust and dirt out, windows you can see through again.  It's like cleansing the soul.

But I don't know how the fare-thee-well came in. I concluded it was an old saying from a previous generation and never asked further.

Spit-shine is another old saying. I can't imagine spitting on anything to shine it, but I guess this means it's clean.

Well, anyway, it's what I've been up to, since undertaking the streamline-and simplify-my-life, decluttering project. I feel a bit like Carol Burnett, with her mop and bucket.

As with anything, the whole endeavor's more major than I thought it would be as I forgot about all the trips to the: a) dumpster; b) Goodwill; c) Half-Price Books; d) kids, who, like it or not, are inheriting stuff I classify as too good for Goodwill; and e) the recycling center (an old freezer).

It's also a bit painful. I hadn't really counted on that. I've had to take a tough stand on not re-stuffing my closets with the same old junk stuff, reluctant to part with some things. Kinda like letting go of a part of you, if you know what I mean.

Would you believe I even sent my old high school sweetheart some photos I had of him? We're talking some fifty-years back. My history.

But when his mother, who I stayed with for awhile when he was stationed in Germany in the Army, died recently, I learned she hadn't saved any photos of him. Not even his Army photo. They're in their rightful place now. I feel good about that.

Then there's the list of follow-up projects yet to be tackled: organizing photos, going through recipe boxes, shredding old checks and documents, and archiving computer photos to compact disks.

There must be a name for this disease. Or perhaps a support group?

Spit-shining-my-house-to-a-fare-thee-well Anonymous.
Will someone please stop me with an intervention? An invitation to coffee or lunch would do it, at this point.