Sunday, January 5, 2020


Twelve days after Christmas and all through the house
the only one scurrying is not a small mouse.
Our son took the last batch of family to the airport for their flight back to Minnesota this morning, and then he, his girlfriend and another friend took off for Mass and brunch and hasn't been seen since.  But to give a glimpse of what has been happening here in the last two weeks, I will attempt a room-by-room account of the leftovers from the festivities.  
The garage has a Suburban that has developed an inability to fully close one of its windows.  The smaller car needs a smog job and its 115,000 mile treatment at the dealer's. The sink is soaking with boiling water and vinegar to remove the remains of all that was washed in there over the past two weeks.  Then I need to do my weekly soak of all the orchids in my kitchen window.  The speckled one started blooming on December 21, which was my husband's birthday, and the white one opened its first bloom on New Year's Day.  I can see more flower spikes emerging from several of the other plants; they are starting early this year.
In my bedroom, which was turned over to my daughter Teresa and her husband and their three youngest, including the 8 month old baby who showed great precocity in imitating the way I buzz with my mouth as a French horn warm up, I've stripped the bed, and the sheets have made their way to the dryer so I can return to my own corner of the house tonight. I've removed the mattress the 5-year-old slept on, but still have to move the other one for the 2-year-old and the pack and play for the baby, as well as a Princess Balloon from Disneyland which they elected not to take on the plane. The towels are being washed, but I'm not sure I'll get to the dusting and vacuuming today.
Oh, did I mention that almost all of us got some cold/virus with a horrendous cough over the course of the two weeks? This means there are tissue boxes, full trash cans, and I am washing all the sheets and towels on heavy duty in hopes that the germs will be vanquished.  It changed many of our plans, but despite that we all enjoyed time talking, cooking, and cleaning together, and the cousins (20 of them) appeared to have a ball playing games, exploring the Playmobil room (where I slept the greater part of the time) and enjoying the sunny Southern California weather after the two days of rain on Christmas and the day after. This was especially appreciated by the grandchildren from Canada and Minnesota.
Now I have moved all the extra bedding out of my room, made my bed, cleaned the bathroom, dusted and vacuumed. I'm on the fourth load of laundry, with many more to come, and the second dishwasher load. When my son came home briefly, he commented astringently on the mess, allowed as how he sometimes contributes to it, but then replaced the lightbulbs that were defunct, folded up the two folding chairs that had eluded me so far, divided up some of the many leftovers with me, and took the Costco table upstairs.
I made it into the dining room with the vacuum cleaner and was finally able to vacuum up the millions of crumbs that decorated the 14" burgundy carpet strip that edges the room. I found the button that had fallen off one of the dining room chairs so it can now be sewed back on, and decided that since I could only squeak out a few words when my daughter called to say she would be over tomorrow to help with the clean up, it is time to call it a day, eat a belated dinner, and get a good night's sleep in the hope that I will be feeling more like tackling the rest of the house tomorrow. And maybe avoid the spicy Korean soup that I thought would clear my sinuses but instead made me realize that my digestive system is a bit out of whack as well as my head!

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