Monday, July 4, 2011


My nails and cuticles are a mess…and I hurt all over. But for all that, I have a sense of accomplishment, and that feels really good! Maybe I even look a little better, too. If you want to understand that statement, keep reading.

I’ll begin by explaining that I logged 997 miles on my Honda CRV’s odometer in the last week, starting with a drive to Ohio to celebrate my brother-n-law’s retirement from full-time ministry. It was a special time honoring 37 years of excellent shepherding and loving several congregations.

While in the Buckeye state I decided to pay a visit to the lady who was my sister-in-law for 18 years. I had two boxes filled with memorabilia I’d been saving many years for her grown children…things found in my parents’ home when we cleaned out their belongings. It was a wonderful chance to catch up with Audrey because we hadn’t been together for more than many years. After the divorce, I was (and still am) thankful to continue a friendship with her. Those boxes had been passed between my home and my sister’s home for about a dozen years so I was glad to pass them along to Audrey. It was time to ‘clean’ them out from the clutter I’ve managed to not manage over time. (…and I’m the one who used to teach Organizational Workshops! Note the key word here: used to.)

Next on the agenda while in Ohio, was to clean…I mean really clean…our little cabin at Camp Sychar in Mt. Vernon. The cabin is only 11½’ x 12’ but cleaning it still took a while! My neck and shoulders still haven’t recovered from washing the walls and ceiling! But when I move my things into the cabin later this month, I won’t have to do as much work as I usually do each year. It gave me a good feeling to have that behind me…

Five generations of my family have been attending this camp annually. My first trip there was when I was four weeks old and we stayed in tents back then. The tents have all been replaced with little cottages/cabins and the one my husband and I stay in was where my parents stayed in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Next, my sister took it over when Mother and Daddy moved to a larger cabin. Now, it is our little “cabin, sweet cabin” for two weeks every summer. And since I was in Ohio anyway, I did what my mother-in-law called “deep cleaning” (did I EVER)!!

After a little R and R, I headed to Virginia to prepare our family home for a surprise birthday dinner for my husband. More cleaning. Lots of cleaning in a house that isn’t occupied regularly is a big chore. I worked hard and still didn’t get it all done. The birthday dinner went well and our family and friends got to have a nice visit. The next day, I resumed the cleaning after everyone headed home. And going through the cupboards and clearing off the counters gave me a good feeling. I’m sorting through things for the family members to look through. The big things are already claimed and moved out. And now I’m moving some of our things into the house and mingling our furniture, etc. in with the belongings of my mother and father-in-law’s. It is our home now but I don’t ever want to take away the feeling of ‘home’ that Mary Ruth and Roy built into the place where they raised their wonderful family. It has been quite meaningful for us to bring furniture and paintings that belonged to my parents into the Greenhouse! And everything seems to blend together really well…just like Joe and me! (insert smile here)

I drove home to Tennessee last night and guess what I had waiting for me? Yes, more cleaning…laundry…unpacking and organizing. My nails and cuticles are still a mess, but my toes are going to look great while I’m doing all this work. I’m getting a pedicure tomorrow!

My friend Carolyn Barker gave me a cute little wooden freezer magnet that speaks a great truth: “Housework makes me ugly.” That means I should hire a housekeeper so I can be totally beautiful! If it is indeed TRUE, then all the beautiful women I know either have housekeepers or really dirty houses! ☺

Remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!

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