Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lake House Summer

I do not actually own a lake house. However, after all of the major clean-up that has occurred at our humble abode over the last four weeks, I need one. I have decided, now that the house is in order, that I am going to enjoy what I call a Lake House Summer. It is not really a place---it is an attitude. It is a vacation  state- of- mind that you can go to every day after the work is done. When I announced my brilliant summer theme, the family exchanged "mom's not quite herself" glances, groaned at the thought of what "fun activities" I had dreamed up requiring their participation, and My Dear Man turned pale thinking that I actually wanted to buy a lake house. I assured them that what I had in mind was a summer of simplicity and relaxation. Simple meals, good books, open schedules and anything else that does not require extensive planning, hard work or stress. I knew the Youngest was completely on board when I mentioned sleeping-in-late every possible opportunity.
It is quite fortunate that I adopted this idea. We narrowly escaped a harrowing meltdown because of it.  Here is the tale: 
It was towards the end of week three of our renovation/spring cleaning adventure. I was tired. Bone tired. Every time we painted and refreshed one room, another area was illuminated that needed immediate attention and more cleaning. We have the sweetest banquette in our kitchen that was installed in the 1960's. It is very charming and has cushioned many a derriere at family gatherings. It is part of the family and I would never throw it out. Now that the kitchen was freshly painted and updated, the worn vinyl on the seats became a focal point that had not been so noticeable before. We removed the bench and sent it off to be recovered.The grout and floor tiles where the banquette had been looked me straight in the eye and chortled,"Well,well,well. Don't we look different from the rest of the tiles in the kitchen." Wow, that is the color they should be?  I had forgotten. Needless to say, something had to be done about the kitchen floor. I was informed by a certain someone that new flooring was not an option. I mopped with a little more gusto than usual. Nope. I washed an area vigorously with a wash cloth. Nothing. Remember, I am bone tired. I realized, with dread, that scrubbing with a bristle brush and then sealing the grout was the only way to restore the tiles to their original lustre. So, I began. Good grief, scrubbing is hard work. I was working up a good glow (ladies do not sweat). I had to take breaks. I had to have more snacks than usual to sustain myself. It was taking HOURS. Why did I not think to call Stanley Steamer? Towards the end of the grueling chore, the Youngest casually strolled in and began merrily singing "CinderLisa, CinderLisa". Really? How about,"Gee, Mom, I see that you are faint with fatigue ---could I help out? " I realized, as she stepped over me to get to the refrigerator, that these words were not in her vocabulary at the moment. The nerve. Please. Don't mind me down here on hands and knees----working like a slave so that we can have a nice home. I see that you have already exhausted yourself today laying in bed all morning watching u-tube videos. May I offer you a refreshing beverage? How about a rejuvenating wallop on the noggin with my Fairy Godmother Wand of Wrath? My private thoughts were interrupted when My Dear Man walked in and asked,"Have you thought about what we will be having for dinner tonight?" Good lord, man, we just had lunch. Look at me. I am "glowing" like a neon billboard sign and I have floor dents on my kneecaps. Do I look like a woman who has thought about dinner? Danger. Danger. Sailors be warned--- a storm is brewing and she's gonna be a big one.
photo by Meg
For the safety of all, I checked myself. I remembered my glorious theme for the summer. It was time to activate Operation Lake House Summer. I took a deep breath and put the scrub brush away for another day. We ordered pizza for dinner that night and took a long walk. It was wonderful. All is well. The house is in order, the flower beds are now weed-free and the garden is planted.
 Here is an invitation from me to you: If you find that your flair for the domestic is on the verge of a flop, take a break! Join me for my Lake House Summer state- of- mind. We are going to have fun!

1 comment:

  1. I love the Lake House Summer state-of-mind idea!!! I am on board as well, except for the sleeping in part. Like always your blog made me giggle and smile!! Love you Mom!!!!