Tonight while I was making dinner, Brian and I were wondering why its so hard to keep our house clean. At about that moment, Dora pulled down from the table a pile of puzzles and her bowl of crayons. We laughed a little and cringed a little. After Brian left for rehearsal and Dora went to bed, very sweetly, I might add, I looked around the house and wondered, "why did we even have to ASK each other why our house is a mess?"
I aspire to be one of those people whose homes is nice, neat, and organized. I have had a subscription to the magazine "Real Simple" for years. I even have a subscription to it that lasts well into the future - my mother bought me several years of a gift subscription, and amazingly, it still continues, even though she has been gone for almost 5 years now. The label says "gift from Brady Runser". Her name wasn't Brady, but for some reason the folks at Real Simple couldn't understand why Carol Runser wanted a gift subscription for Caroline Runser, so she used her maiden name as her first name to make it easier. Real Simple indeed. Anyway, as a subscriber to this magazine, I have a monthly reminder of all that my home could be. Great organizing tips, new uses for old things, a month of easy dinners. I love the features of this magazine, and I use them occasionally, and yet my house is still cluttered and messy.
I try to think of the positive things that go along with our cluttered home. For one thing, I think it's safe to say that little Dora's going to have one heck of an immune system. I also like to think that our messiness is a sign of a house full of love, activity, music, and creativity. This is not to say that a neat and organized home doesn't have these things - those folks just have something figured out that I do not. But my endless parade of dishes, including pots and pans, is a sign of all the work that goes on in my kitchen. I make things from scratch, almost every day, and along with that comes great meals and great messes.
Our tiny house doesn't make things any easier. It was built in 1929, when, apparently, closets were not necessary. We have two tiny closets, two tiny bedrooms, a scary dirt basement full of cave crickets, and an unfinished, short attic whose access point is a hole in the ceiling that's about 10 inches square. Storage is not this place's forte.
Just like life, my house is not perfect. It's full of pet hair and toys. There are blocks under the couch and an unmatched jelly shoe in the bathroom. There is literally some kind of musical instrument, piece of music, or musical paraphernalia in every single room of my house. My dining room is a playroom, an office, and a piano studio. Oh, and a dining room. This place literally makes me crazy sometimes - I've even considered paying someone to organize it for me - but, its ours. The fur and the toys and the dirty pots - they are all ours, and for that, I am both extraordinarily blessed and extremely thankful. I may covet the neighbor's house - ahh to have such storage space, and an office, and a playroom for Dora that doesn't have 5 other uses - but my home is where my heart is, and I love it in spite of its imperfections. Hopefully, my friends, you still love me even though I'm confessing my messiness in both words and pictures here. My hunch, though, is that you can all relate, and you all have either a few pet hairs (or many) or a block or a stray jelly shoe under your couch. Now, that is a house full of love.