"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death."
~ Robert Fulghum

Monday, December 12, 2011

My 13 Days of Christmas


Growing up the four of us, kids really liked it when our grandparents came to visit us for Christmas. That meant we did not have to pack and take that long drive to either Louisiana or Arizona and we got to hang out with our friends over the break. Wait, we have to what? Clean? I know I know ... cleaning is not bad. It should have been a breeze - we had to clean with mom every Saturday, but when guests were coming in, we started from top to bottom like it had never been cleaned before. 

Picture this - a game on Friday night ... ah, sleep in Saturday morning ... what is that noise? Vrmm, vrmm, vrmm (that is a vacuum noise), mom would be pushing that vacuum right up to the bedroom door. That was the signal we had better get up ... and let the cleaning begin. My mom had the most unique places to check to see if we dusted.  Yes, there was always a test. We would leave the bedroom to start on the kitchen or den and we would hear, "You didn't dust here." Wait ... (vrmm, vrmm) W-H-A-T (shaking our head, while pointing to our ears and then the vacuum) and we would continue our "mock" cleaning routine.  I mean my mom is not "no wire hangars", but she just completely burned us (kids) out as far as cleaning (there are people who clean for a living). In some old letters I have that she wrote when she first got married, she describes the hotel room and ends her description with, "And they keep it clean, too".  Okay.

We would "start" cleaning for Christmas company about three weekends out - well we just kept doing it over and over, maybe we never got it right.  We could not plan to escape to do anything until the cleaning was done (or until we begged, whichever came first).  Oh, and we better not do anything to make her mad - she would get us by dumping our drawers in the center of our bed ... obviously that needed to be taken care of before going to bed (around the corner she would be going, "Gotcha").  She would "dust through" the house a couple times during the week.  Sometimes she would call when we would get home from school, "Debbie, would you run around the house with a dust cloth"?  Oh, why did I answer the phone?  Well I am kind of a literal type person (yes, really I am), so I would put on my running shoes, grab the dust cloth, step outside and run around the house.  Done, check that off my list.    

I wonder if mom asked her parents or dad's parents to dust through the house with her whenever they visited.  I would have said, "Me, oh no thanks, I'm good"!  I guess each household has their little rules.  My dad's mom whenever we arrived would holler, "Don't sit on the bed", just as our hinnies were going to get comfortable. Oh, I love Christmas memories.  Cleaning, not so much! 
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