Tuesday, January 15, 2008

After the fun, the housework

Time to put the sewing machine away for a while and concentrate on my neglected house. The problem is, dusting is my least favorite task in the world. I blame my mother. No, seriously. When I was a kid, if my brother and I did something bad, she would put a dustcloth in our hands and set us to work. He was taller, so he did the shelves and tops, and I was stuck with the bases and legs. She had antiques, so I dusted a lot of claw-foot table legs in my youth. And carvings. And raised panels. It's a wonder that I like traditional furniture, but there you are. Still dusting those crevices and carvings.

But it did lead to a great family story. When I was in first grade, my teacher had a corner shelf in the classroom filled with seashells and pretty nature collections. On Parent's Day, she had the class tidying up the room for visitors. I had no sooner walked through the door that morning than Mrs. Boggs put a cloth in my hand and said, "Please dust the corner shelf and arrange the seashells." My indignant response was, "What did I do?"

She was trying to be nice since she thought I had an artistic bent and would enjoy working with the shells. She didn't understand my response until my mother told her that she used housework for a punishment, and I probably thought that I was being disciplined for no fault that I could see. They got a good laugh out of it, but I STILL HATE DUSTING!

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