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Fuss about dust at the farmette


It's a sunny but cold day at the farmette - had to take the frost off the clothesline to get the sheets on. Household chores can be a bit of a grind, and by and large, I subscribe to Rose Milligan's philosophy - reprinted widely on Facebook - about how there are umpteen better things to do than sweep the floor and make the bed. In case you haven't yet seen it, the lovely poem goes like this: Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better

To paint a picture, or write a letter,

Bake a cake, or plant a seed;

Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,

With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;

Music to hear, and books to read;

Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there

With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;

A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,

This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,

Old age will come and it’s not kind.

And when you go (and go you must)

You, yourself, will make more dust.

By Rose Milligan

I understand and generally live by the sentiment, but sometimes, when the piles get high, and the dust bunnies are as big as the cats, it's time to do some serious White-Tornadoing.

While my penchant is definitely to be outdoors scratching in my garden or zooming around in the Miata, or just lounging with a book under the maples, there are times when, like everyone, I have to put shoulder to wheel, mop to pail and cloth to coffee-table and just get at it.

And I don't mind. Most of the time. It's kind of a Zen thing with me - although I usually have Annie Lennox belting out her lyrical feminista screeds in the background.

There's something satisfying about having a nice clean house - particularly when I consider where I started. Not saying that we're 'dirty' people or anything, but with four felines roaming and bounding and napping and snoring in the various crevices, there's bound to be dust. And since I was diagnosed with a veritable panoply of allergies at the tender age of 48, I must dust.

But, luckily, the farmette domicile is not very big, and I can hide lots of stuff in drawers and cupboards - until they need their spring cleaning. That's another one of my philosophies - if you're not in full-on cleaning zone, procrastinate. As long as the top layer of cat hair gets vacuumed off the surfaces, I'm golden, as far as I'm concerned.

So, yes, I will be returning to dust one day. I get it. I do try to take note of the wondrous bits that nature presents us, and I do my fair share of travelling, marvelling and cherishing.

But, I'm human, I'm not wealthy, so paying a maid is out, and I don't have any fairies who are going to do the work for me. So, with the rag in one hand and Pledge in the other - it's onward and upward because I must. Dust.


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