Sunday, November 18, 2007

Home Excavations

I feel like an archaeologist, reveling in the delight of finding more and more wondrous and intriguing things from the past the deeper I dig.

We're cleaning house.

Yes, with Thanksgiving only four days away and our first guests arriving in just three, the pressure is on to get the house sparkling clean or, at least, looking less like the home of the Addams family and more like the home of the First Family.

Agnes and I have a pretty large house for two people: five bedrooms, 3 baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, and utility/laundry room. The five bedrooms are subdivided into the Grand Imperial Master Bedroom, my study, Agnes's workshop, a guest room, and Agnes's nest (available as a second guest room). Three of those bedrooms - my study, the guest room, and Agnes's nest - tend to be the rooms where things end up which must be saved, but for which there's no good storage location. We usually clean the guest room and nest by the simple expedient of closing the doors so we don't have to see the mess, but since we'll need both rooms to accommodate guests, we've actually had to grit our teeth, put on the moon suits and respirators, and start seriously cleaning.

We've got a lot of stuff. Twenty-three years of moving around where the Air Force wanted us has resulted in a lot of beloved things (i.e., dust-catchers) reflecting the places we've lived and adventures we've had. And with Agnes being a marvelously handy crafts person, we have an enormous amount of stuff for each of her hobbies: piles of boxes of yarn and needles for counted cross-stitching; boxes of yarn for knitting; odd bits and pieces of assorted mats and frames from her matting and framing phase; boxes of glass and tools (hand and powered) for stained glass projects; tottering heaps of fabric, boxes of thread, cabinets of patterns, and three sewing machines for various pending sewing projects; a huge (10 feet by about 5 feet) quilting frame, and dozens of books relating to each of the aforementioned hobbies. For my part, I have a large desk which accommodates the computer, printer, stereo equipment, lamp, and telephone, along with vast piles of books, papers, computer parts, and photographs, sorted and unsorted, leaving an open space of about 12 by 18 inches on which I can actually work.

And that doesn't include the vast piles of books for which we still don't have enough shelf space.

Bottom line: we've got about three days to figure out where to put all this stuff.

As of yesterday, Agnes's nest is officially more or less clean. We can see the floor for the first time in months, and Agnes was actually able to lie down on the sofa bed and read yesterday evening while I fixed dinner. The downstairs guest room is sort of cleaned out...there are still a few things that have no place else to go, but at least you can go in and out and actually sleep in the bed.

Because we'll have to accommodate 15 adults and six children (at last count), we've had to reconfigure the living and dining rooms so that we can extend the dining room table far enough into the living room to seat the adults (the children will get their own table in the living room). Chairs will be a challenge, but between what we have and what we can borrow from the dance studio, we should be okay.

I told my boss the other day that I'm looking forward to the Monday after Thanksgiving so I can come back to work and relax. I don't think he was overly impressed.

So ... the time right now is 6:15 AM, and I've been up since about 5:15. Agnes is still asleep, but should be up soon, and we'll have a quick breakfast and start the frantic cleaning and rearranging once again. With any luck, we should be able to have everything more or less cleaned up by this evening.

Of course it may all be moot, because by Wednesday the house will be buried to the eaves in the leaves I haven't had time to rake, so our visitors may not be able to find us, anyhow.

Hope we can eat all that food ourselves.

Stay tuned for more of the unfolding adventure of Thanksgiving at Chez Bilbo, with pictures. Let me know how your preparations are coming, too, so I don't feel so frantic.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


P.S. - Sue, who blogs at La Chanson de Phoenix, has given me a very nice award:

Of course, as a confirmed curmudgeon with a generally crusty attitude, I'm not sure that I really deserve it, but it's nice to be recognized. Thanks, Sue, for this award, which I now proceed to pass on to a few others:


Serina Hope

The Mistress of the Dark (who is going five rounds without gloves with Mr Murphy at the moment)


Dari Donovan (who's having a rough weekend and could use your support)

Thanks to all of you, and have a great Thanksgiving (or whatever the equivalent is in Palembang for you, Amanda).



Sue said...

Wow... I didn't realize you read Charmed and Dangerous too! Suddenly my blogging world is so much smaller.

You and Delmer both read Dariana, Ms Q. reads Delmer's blog and Speedycat's blog (another I've read from time to time)... I'm getting confused, what was I going to say?

Oh.. that's it.. I would love to help you clean if I lived closer! It's always a passion when it's somebody else's house, heheheh.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

As I read Dariana as well, she has a lot of fans.

Your house has a lot of work to be done to it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bilbo, wow, lots of my readers read your blog and vice versa, it really is a samll blogging world.

I want to say THANK YOU for you post mention of me, yes I am sad to see my son depart back to Iraq.

Thank you so much for thinking of me and please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Have a safe and bountiful Thanksgiving my friend.

Unknown said...

It sounds like it will be a perfect Thanksgiving... good luck with the cleaning.
When I moved there was so much stuff I just didn't know what to do with it because back home our place was huge and here it was a one bedroom flat - finally had to let go of things I had been accumulating for years...

Serina Hope said...

Man, good luck with all of that work. I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. You deserve it.
And thank you so much for the award.
You are the best.

Mike said...

Usually moving around gets "stuff" cleaned out of your life because you don't want to haul it all over creation. But if you've hauled all this stuff around with you, you should get some kind of hoarder award. I'm sure your not anywhere near as bad compared to what a true hoarder is but think how much stuff you would have if you hadn't moved so much.

I've been in my house 31 years. You should see my "stuff".

Amanda said...

Thanks so much for the award!

Your house may have needed a lot of cleaning but I get the impression that it must be an incredibly warm home with lots of memories.

I look forward to any pictures you share!