It’s Clean and Empty For the Last Moment




After our much too fast 24 hour visit with Carter ended Russ, Shay and I made the familiar drive home from camp to the empty front half of our house and the disastrous back half crammed with all we own. In these last few hours before the floor men arrive we finished covering up the window treatments and covering the furniture with sheets.


I had a half a case of tomatoes and since I am not going to be able to use the kitchen to cook I made marinara sauce for the freezer. I must be the only person on earth who in the final moments I have left in my house for two weeks decides to slow simmer a stockpot of tomatoes. I just could not let them go to waste.


I also made two tomato pies, one for dinner and one for the freezer while doing two last loads of laundry so Russ will have all the clothes he has access to clean. See I thought he had set aside the clothes he needed for these two weeks before the movers came and put his two dressers wrapped in shrink-wrap in the middle of all the other furniture. When he asked me where his belts were and I pointed to the inaccessible chest he gave me that, “Are you kidding me?” look.


After what feels like years, but in reality is only two months of getting the house ready for this face lift of sanding and refinishing I realize that come tomorrow I will get a two-week break from working on the house. I am going to be quarantined from cleaning anything else. Even though I will have access to one part of the house it is going to be unpleasant to be here so I am doing the best thing and leaving town.


Shay has been the most upset by all this moving around. She picks up her blue stuffed dog and carries it around crying because the bed where she likes to bury her stuffed animals is gone. She wanders the empty rooms and is disturbed by the lack of the familiar. She cries and sticks close to us worrying that we might disappear too. Thank goodness she is happy to go and stay with her friend Mary where there will be a pack of dog friends to keep her mind off her loss of habitat at home.


First thing in the morning the crew will show up. I am staying home for the first day of the job because I was worried about running out of town and not being available to answer any questions they might have about the color or finish I wanted. I hope that it was not a mistake to just run away as soon as the refinishers walk in the door.


I am mostly looking forward to the mandatory break from cleaning, packing, throwing/giving stuff away and reorganizing. The only bad part is that it is just a break. As soon as the floors are done I have to undo everything and put it all back in their rightful places as well as clean every surface in the whole house, including the parts that were not refinished because I know dust will get in every nook and cranny. For now I am just going to pull a Scarlet O’Hara and “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”


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