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Gopher Gulch: Finally, a day off after the housework

It’s a good thing I’m having my head examined, since the need for it becomes increasingly apparent. I have it on the best authority that I’m not truly demented, which is a relief, but I do fall off the far end of the weirdness scale.

Remember those glorious days last month? Crisp mornings, soft breezes, warm sunshine and all the beauty and urgency of fall? I missed ’em. Never even looked up. I was disturbing spiders in every dark closet corner, shoveling out empty sowbugs and laying a neutral carpet upon which I placed soft area rugs.

I began re-doing House a couple years ago, initially with the idea of simplifying things, then stopped for a few bones to heal last winter. As I reclined here knitting bones, with nothing to look at but the mess, I realized I was still living in my mother’s house. I never would have noticed if Judi hadn’t tackled that kitchen.

Dr. Meyers released me the end of May and by then I was in the grip of obsession, taking up where I’d left off, working indoors all summer. Judi returned to hang grasscloth on the fireplace wall in August. A month ago I was stretching for the finish line, frothing like a horse at the end of a hard race.

Ron came and spent a day with me, changing sink faucets, replacing light fixtures, cleaning and repairing rain gutters. He drained the water heater, which should be done annually, especially if you’re on a well. He cut the bottoms off umpteen doors so they’d open and close over more rugs.

Ultimately, I may be able to reach the top shelves of the cupboards.

In medieval times, people packed whatever rags they could find into the hovel for added warmth and insulation in the fall. In the spring, they’d haul them all outdoors for cleaning.

 That’s what I’ve got in mind while placing area rugs over the new Berber carpet. I have a deep desire for soft warmth and my knees are happier when I’m sock-footed, so soft, warm floors are important.

I removed all the ugly old blinds and replaced them with soft, fleece throws on expando rods — they’re cheaper than curtains, will block drafts better than the blinds, and come in colors and patterns that soothe my soul. I even washed the big front room drapes.

That’s how I ended up taking my hike of success and celebration in the midst of a major storm. I’d promised myself a day to play in the woods when House was clean and sweet.

It was perfect! Trees whipped in the wind and there were falling branches of the sort called “widow makers.” The little kid in me, the part that worked alone in the woods most of my life, had a ball. My feet followed deer trails as if they’d never been gone, while I sniffed the wind and gathered oyster mushrooms for supper.

It was the perfect Thanksgiving.

Reach Inez Castor, a longtime Triplicate columnist, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


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