A half pot of coffee followed by aggressive vacuuming, mopping — stopping to take apart the panel above the microwave with the plastic fins that get discolored and oily, catch animal hair, become furry.
The panel was stained the color of curry powder, a kind of yellow/green, with a tinge of orange — but the tiny screws were stuck in place by god knows what, and it took many failed revolutions of the cheap, store-bought screwdriver set to get it undone. Behind the panel, a brown stain somewhere between a liquid and solid state like syrup, demanding instant removal.
And then it was time to scrub down the range and remove every spot, which takes real focus. They don’t all come out, it’s like hubris: you have to leave a few imperfections to remind yourself you’re mortal.
I took all the objects off the bookshelves in order, from top to bottom. I removed the plants from the window sills and ganged them together in the shower, sprayed down the leaves, let them sit alone in silence.
It’s funny but whenever my mom comes to visit, Dawn threatens to clean, like it’s something she knows she should do, and by the sheer act of saying it it becomes a reality.
The annual Easter egg hunt in our back yard serves as a forcing function too, to clean up the dog poop but it’s imperfect, and always leaves me nervous the kids will track it in.
Dawn placed 96 plastic eggs about the yard for four kids to find (ages 13 – 7), and it was the 10-year-old Charlotte who claimed 48, was asked to divvy up the rest out of fairness.
In the morning Dawn asked if I was going to church (I didn’t know it was option), then sounded glad I wasn’t, so I could stay home and sign the cards, put out the baskets.
I drove to the store and bought a chicken, roamed the aisles, picked out some flowers…and it was misty-cool but decidedly spring: somehow on Easter Sunday it’s like the whole world seems to sing. Whether you go to church or not, that’s what it feels like to me.