Cleaning turns into ‘fishing’ expedition
Since my husband’s unfortunate accident six weeks ago, I have been off of work and trying to keep the farm going. I have also been attempting to reclaim my house from the state of disorganization, clutter and dust into which it had gradually fallen in the past six years while I worked away from home.
My husband was great about many things prior to this broken limb. He cooked dinner a few nights a week, he gardened and preserved foods that he had no intentions of eating, and he would occasionally assist one of our kids with their homework before I got home. But one thing he never really participated in was housekeeping. (Unless telling the kids to load the dishwasher counts. It doesn’t, does it?)
At any rate, the house needed a good scrub-down. A simple spring cleaning wasn’t going to cut it; it really needed a power washer and several more arms’ worth of elbow grease. I decided to tackle the upstairs first and work my way down.
My middle daughter assisted in her bedroom, and she purged many items from what we have begun to refer to as, “the hoard.” She made decisions based first on whether an item was broken; second, whether she would play with or wear it; and finally, on whether she had room for it. After several hours, it was finally time to dust and run the vacuum.
When I ran the sweeper, I sucked up a dryer sheet accidently. It took me a few minutes to discover that I wasn’t picking up any more dirt, but I finally realized the hose was clogged. I shut the sweeper down to remove the debris, and that is when the trouble started.
I needed something long, skinny and sturdy to push the blockage out of the hose. I found several items, but none fit the bill on all three characteristics. The first item I tried was a marker. Skinny and sturdy, I thought it may work because the clog was nearer to one end of the hose than the other. I thought wrong. It actually also became stuck in the hose, compounding my problem.
Next, I tried a thin piece of metal that had randomly showed up in the hallway garbage can. (Random stuff doesn’t just appear in your house? Hmph. I can’t be the only one!) The metal was not long enough either.
Then, my daughter suggested a fishing pole. It was long, skinny and, though flexible, still sturdy. I agreed to try. I held the hose while my daughter fished in the hose with the pole. Just when I thought we might be making progress, I looked up and saw a bulge in the hose and realized that she had shoved until the eyelet that holds the fishing line was also stuck in the hose. This was totally out of hand.
Her next suggestion was that we cut the end of the hose off, so I had to shut her down. After much cajoling and silent praying, I was able to remove the fishing pole. After locating the broom, I was also able to remove the clog. And after several more hours with the vacuum, I expect I will be able to remove the rest of the filth from our home.
How long it will stay clean, however, is anyone’s guess.
Laura Zoeller can be reached at email@example.com.