Sunday, October 7, 2007

Perpetual Cleaning Motion

"Think they work you too hard?
Think of poor Ali Sard!
He has to mow grass in his uncle's back yard
And it's quick-growing grass
And it grows as he mows it.
The faster he mows it, the faster he grows it."
~The old man in the Desert of Drize, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss
"Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
~The Red Queen, Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Why do I mention these quotes? They've been running through my head lately. Especially when I'm gardening during our unusually warm Autumn. Nothing has stopped growing. The grass still needed mowing. The weeds still need to be pulled. The hedges I had cut to half their size three times already had to be cut back again. Give me a break! My rose bushes are so confused I'm getting an October bloom! (I'm not complaining about the rose, just the stress to the shrub that is blooming out of season.)

There is also something very interesting that happens whenever I choose a spot to tidy. If I want the house neat (read: I can walk through the living room without tripping over stuff) the yard grows out of control. I've seen weeds become the size of small bushes in a matter of days. Most of them don't even have the decency to put out a flower like the dandelions do. They just get big and overpowering, with tendrils and seedy antenna-like stalks that give them the feel of invading green men from Mars. Outdoor toys magically appear out of the lawn. Not just soccer balls and bats, mind you, but also stilts and the mildew-stained play foods and sand-filled toy dishes that were banned from indoors.

If I want my yard neat (read: lawn doesn't resemble the wild prairie) my house suddenly throws up the toybox. Nothing can express the feeling I get after spending the afternoon wrestling with overgrown bushes to come inside, sweaty and tired, and realize that there is no place to sit because the Kingdom of Couch is under siege by the Kingdom of Floor and hundreds of little pipe cleaner men are casting juggling scarves of doom over their enemies. At least, that's what it looks like, I'm not sure of the plot. In the meantime, every piece of dollhouse furniture and dolls lay outside the dollhouse, because the dolls apparently phoned Clean Sweep or some other decluttering show to come and empty the house. I suspect if I peer inside the miniature windows I will see a tiny camera crew focused on a miniature interior designer who is discussing room changes. Meanwhile, the smaller couch just had a parade go through, evidenced by the confetti that has been tossed about. And look, the scissors that cut the confetti are still there. I'll be searching for them later, because even if I put them away now, they have a habit of wandering away from their drawer.

I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea. I love that there is so much activity in and around our home. I know it can't be neat and quiet while I am raising and homeschooling kids. I enjoy living here as much as they do. And they do help. Sometimes they even help without me nagging...
telling them.

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