I have been worried about my messy house lately. I can't seem to find the motivation to keep it clean. I get distracted by things like blogging and naps and lying in my hammock thinking about God. I spend too much time in my head and not enough with a sponge in my hand.
But the truth is, I get nervous in immaculate houses. My kitchen tools gig brings me into them once in awhile. Places that are not only fastidiously clean, but look like no one lives there. I have been in homes where there were no personal effects. All the stuff was purchased, new, from Pier One or some design store. No mementos or artwork. No books or papers or stuff handed down from family members. Sterile. It makes me nervous. It seems unreal to me.
And while it is true that my house could be cleaner, it is also true that unless you are an anal retentive neat freak, you will probably feel at home in it. You will know who we are by the stuff you see on the mantle. You will read the story of our family from the artifacts on the china cabinet that my dad built when he had his first home. It is painted cranberry and stained, now, with thirty years of smoke and grime from our various wood stoves and fireplaces.
My kitchen floor is like an archeology dig: Maybe not pot shards and middens. But the corner of a leaf of yesterday's lettuce or the remnants of a lemonade spill.
Dig in my sink drainer: Green onion, garlic skins, some acrylic paint or a pencil nub.
Our walls are painted earthy colors like cowslip yellow and ochre orange. hanging on it we have an antique Ames shovel, a photo of my dour great grandmother, paintings from friends and kids.
A collection of small animal skulls sits on a shelf.
There are a couple of crosses, too. A ceramic one from the dollar store in the kitchen. A barbed wire one from Arizona in the dining room. And on the mantle, a slate circle with a chi rho symbol carved into it. My dad made it for me.