Labor Day Weakened

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, September 9, 2010

So how was your Labor Day Weekend? Mine was GREAT, for the most part. After all, anytime a woman who has borne children can get through Labor Day without thinking about her real Labor Day-not the one that honors the paid workforce but the one that involved being in labor and wondering what the heck she was doing there, then it's a pretty good day. Of course, it's been so many decades since I birthed those babies that the laboring doesn't seem nearly as bad as it did the day or year after. Yes, time does have a way of healing old wombs, doesn't it?

Anyhow, back to my weekend. Second-born son and his family spent the weekend with us. We're still trying to make-up the time lost during their year in Rhode Island. And, no, we are KNOTT spoiling those two little granddaughters even though that man-of-mine shared his stash of old Cracker Jack “prizes” between them. Don't worry, though, fair is fair-he'd already begun the process with the two grandsons when they stayed with us a couple of weeks ago.

We spent most of the weekend hiking the fields and bottom ground and playing along and in the river. Of course, the girls and I spent a lot of creative playtime “tending” to be horses, dolphins, and doggies. Yep, we galloped around the yard, swam in the pool, and chased one another around the yard.

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At night, we spent our evenings playing inside games-like target shooting. Yep, target shooting. After realizing that the boys had discovered an old cork-shooting rifle and a plastic pistol that propels rubber darts, the girls wanted to test their skills. And, trust me, these little Annie Oakley's can shoot.

However, within a few minutes, our aging refrigerator had taken several of the darts hostage. A crumb-coated, dried-up blueberry delivered the ransom note. The fridge was demanding a den of dust bunnies be freed from its compressor in exchange for the darts.

Armed with a flashlight, I scouted out the perimeter and, after several bouts of deep breathing, I worked up the courage to look under the refrigerator. Sure enough, in the back corner I spotted the darts lingering dangerously close to the dusty den. They were surrounded by an old roach motel, dried-out kernels of corn, several wrinkled peas, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Wrapping the end of a yardstick in a Swifter cloth, I freed the darts but the bunnies would have to wait. Knott to worry, they obviously had enough food to hold them for a day or two. Regardless, I solemnly promised myself I would take on the mission of freeing the dust bunnies after the girls left.

And so I did. Before the SUV got out of the driveway the next afternoon, the hubby and I were pulling the refrigerator away from the wall, in spite of the fact that we were both completely but joyously worn-out.

After that man-of-mine helped me remove the grill cover, Mrs. Hoover cleared the compressor of several years of dust and grim. Okay Heloise, I know I should've done better but out-of-sight unfortunately means out-of-my cleaning path.

That's when my long-standing belief that cleaning has its own domino effect raised its ugly mop-head. It's kind of like that physics-thing…Newton's law of maternal motion. You know it, the one that states, A momma in motion stays in motion as long as no one gets in her way. Of course, there is also its counter about objects at rest: A man with a remote will stay at rest as long as his wife will let him.

Yep, once the compressor and its surroundings were cleared and cleaned, I attacked the floor-cleaning, scrubbing and cleaning some more before I declared I was done. That's when the hubby pointed to an open area above the refrigerator's usual resting place. “Want to run the vacuum up there,” he asked. “I'll hold the ladder for you.”

The area he was pointing to was once wasted space that we turned into a display area for some of our treasures-old kitchen utensils, glassware, and bottles. For the next hour, I gingerly handed down items as I sat perched on the edge of the display area, all the while dusting and cleaning the shelves. After climbing down, I spent another half-hour or so washing all the stuff piled on the counters. Then, it was back up the ladder to put the junk back.

After I finished, we pushed the fridge back in place. I opened the door to make sure it was working and decided the interior could use a good cleaning, too. Several expired labels later, I swear I could almost hear Martha say, “It's a good thing.”

Then, with the ladder staring me in the face, I figured I might as well dust off the old coffee grinders hanging on the wall and make a few runs across the top of the pantry.

When I finally climbed down and gave the hubby my I'm done look, he grinned and asked, “What'ya fixing for dinner, Babes?”

After a Labor Day weekend filled with creative play and grime fighting, I was tired and weakened. I looked into his clear blue eyes and mumbled, “You want dinner?” Reckon there's any chance he said no? KNOTT MUCH.