Friday, November 11, 2011

Dust, Pennies & Furnace Cleaning

They arrived at 8am.
Is that even legal?
I was pre-coffee, sans make-up with a brown kerchief and pigtails unsuccessfully hiding my bad hair day.

All the vents were accessible and the furnace room was tidy thanks to my panic the night before.

One gentlemen kneels beside the vent in my bedroom, pulls off the cover, points and declares in a heavily accented tone of shock: DUST!
He looks at me and I blush , desperately wanting to whip out a dust rag and vamoose the evidence I could see clearly on every shelf within my view. { My city is a dust bowl and keeping up is IMPOSSIBLE}

Solemnly handing me a shiny penny pulled from the wreckage of my floor vent, he moves on to power cleaning away the evidence of my unsuitable housekeeping skills.


Why do I feel this rush of insecurity?
Why do the emotions of unworthiness grab me by the throat?
Why do I feel measured and found wanting?

The worst of it all...

Confession time...

I feel more guilty because to me: dust doesn't matter so much.

A perfectly clean carpet and stairs is not a priority.
Washing my floors every day is not a neccessity.
and worst of all...
I use my shower towels more than twice in a row before washing.{gasp}

I look around me and it's the living breathing bodies that matter.
The joyfully employed sons who ask if I want to walk over to Starbucks this morning, their treat.

The seekers who find me wherever I am in the house and ask me how I slept and do I want a plane ticket to go see my sister next Spring for a Christmas present.

The ones who see my fleeting glance at the dust and say: " I'll get that mom."
The ones who take out the trash every Friday without being asked and who jump in to do some of the things that slip through the cracks when I am not paying attention.

My furnace is cleaned, the vents and ducts are pristine...but the laughter spilling out of my kitchen where my youngest makes his Christmas list on the chalkboard trumps it all.

The air is full of Love. I breathe deep. I smile and draw a heart in the dust.


  1. "A perfectly clean carpet and stairs is not a priority. Washing my floors every day is not a neccessity ... it's the living breathing bodies that matter."

    Oh sweet friend, you have put into words how my heart feels. The house can be cleaned later, AFTER the laughing, crying, and loving have been done. It's the souls that matter, not the sweeping and mopping!

    Thank you for this perspective today; I needed these words!


  2. I love this post. I've been reading for a month or so, but haven't commented. :) I met you many years ago when I was close to your family for a season, went to school with your brother and sisters. Your family, your Mom in particular, had a huge impact on my spiritual life and I've never forgotten that. It's wonderful to read your blog! Thanks for being so real and honest, character traits I really admire. Angie (Sutherland) Murphy - a fellow blue-noser.

  3. @ Wendy Your comments always make me smile! { and wish we lived closer!}

    @ Angie : WOW! Long time indeed! So glad you took the time to drop me a note. Thank-you for your kind words.I am going to look you up on FB right now so we can stay in touch. Hugs from your fellow Blue Noser!

  4. We are so alike on this issue! Even my hubby says if the dust isn't hitting the ceiling it isn't a problem! LOL! Dusting is my least favorite chore!
    Hugs, GraceinAZ