Sunday, February 26, 2012

It’s Not Dust. It’s History!


No one has ever accused me of being a good housekeeper. Although I can’t stand an unmade bed and dirty dishes bug me to the point of keeping them hidden in the dishwasher (usually unrinsed), dust doesn’t bother me all that much, especially now that my eyesight is on the decline.

Add to that how averse I am to entertaining. I like people well enough, usually in one or two hour segments, either in a public location or in their own homes, places I can leave when I’ve had enough. Having visitors in my home just opens up all sorts of scenarios in which they are having so much fun because of my warm and vivacious personality, they don’t remember that I like to be in bed and snoring by around 7:30.

But then my daughter and her husband and their two kids and their bulldog moved back to Georgia and started visiting. The good news is that the kids (my grandchildren) and especially Lou, the bulldog, do a good job of waxing the floor, mostly with their behinds. But the bad news is that my daughter, Melissa, no great housekeeper herself, makes rude comments about the dust that settles on my tables and chairs and perhaps a couple of the dishes I just may have used to feed the kids.

In pondering this problem of what to do about my slovenly ways without actually having to do any manual labor, I suddenly realized that it’s not dust that’s covering everything in my home, it’s history!

I live in an historic building, one designed and built by famous Atlanta architect, Neel Reid, in 1917, thank God too late to be burned by Sherman, and Margaret Mitchell lived here until her death in 1949. More recently, Vern Yip of Trading Spaces and HGTV fame and some of the cast of Drop Dead Diva have also inhabited areas of my building. I know about Vern from a friend who attended a party he hosted in the 90’s, and the DDD people evoked my ire by letting friends park in my space one Saturday afternoon in the midst of the Atlanta Jazz Festival.

I bet if I could have DNA testing done on some of the stuff that decorates the top of my teapot or the bottom of my bed, there'd be
an atom or two of the  original manuscript of Gone with the Wind, which was supposedly burned in our boiler in the basement, or maybe a whisker bit of Clark Gable's mustache.
And although Vern and the DDDs apparently had no qualms about Swiffering history away in order to open their homes to others, I’m made of better stuff (some of which is sloughing off as I type). If these walls could talk, they would tell me about the people who inhabited the rooms where I now live; a glimpse into their lives, their voices, the smell of dinner on their tables. 

But I’ve got none of that. I have only the dust.

I mean the history.


17 comments:

MaryB said...

Ah Ha - got you back, so glad. I've been missing the "Marcia History". Your life and house must be buzzing with activity now that Melissa and family are in the area. Buffing the floors with babies' butts is the best way - except the Moms probably don't think so.

LC said...

Marcia, you have exported sunshine, AKA Marcia-induced laughter, into a cloudy day here. In addition to all those priceless word images, you have now given me a rationalization about my own dust. . . uh history. Fortunately, my two daughter-in-laws see past the history and into the love.

Now my youngest son has another reaction. if some particular "historical accumulation" causes distress to his cleanliness brain cells (and who knew a child of mine could even have such brain cells?), he just spends some effort putting the area into a state he can stand. The rest of us just laugh and I cheer him on!

One other thing: Your cutline under the intro photo is one of the funniest ever! I have missed your posts so much!

Birdie said...

LOL! I am not a great housekeeper either. When I die it won't matter how clean I kept my home.

But think of this. Before pen and paper how did you let someone know you would be late for dinner or to pick up butter and milk at the store. Hello?? It was written in dust messages!

Celia said...

As I've aged cleaning the house has rapidly slid to the bottom of my list. Oh the bathrooms and kitchen are relatively tidied up but a lick and a promise is adequate so to speak. With many grandkids strolling in and out, sparkly clean is an impossibility unless I wanted not to interact with them. Hide the dirty dishes and get rid of the extra stuff that needs dusting, that's my MO.

joared said...

One universal truth is emerging here -- that as we age we become more dedicated to preserving the dust of history in our housekeeping, or lack thereof.

Olga said...

Oh, I have truly missed you. I loved the bulldog picture.

Stephen Hayes said...

I love the idea of dust being history. "Imperial Caesar dead and turned to clay, might plug a hole to keep winter away." I think Shakespeare wrote this but I was a bad student.

MerCyn said...

An advantage of aging is that we can't see the dustballs. At least we have an excuse. Give the kids a swiffer, they'll think it's a toy and have a ball...

Mickey Rogers said...

Glad to see that you are blogging once again. Your many readers, including myself,have missed your interesting and humorous stories.

Arkansas Patti said...

I love the history aspect but what do you do when you have a young house. I blame the eyesight.
Like Olga, I have missed your humor.

marciamayo said...

Patti, you make your own history. You and Mighty.

Dianne said...

Good to it is history

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

Happy to see you back Marcia. I have three air purifiers and a cleaner to help me with dust. Can't stand it even if it is recycled history or dog dander. Dianne

Bobby Dobbins Title said...

It's been a long, dry spell for me without your blog. It's REALLY good to "see" you again.

And especially to gain such an understanding of what all the dust in MY house represents. It'll take me a few days to read it all! :)

cile said...

I am smiling, smiling, smiling while I read your words once more. Welcome back. I hope you can continue!

Linda Myers said...

Nice to read your blog today!

Friko said...

How wonderful, you're back. I hope? Is it possible that you have been burrowing your way out of the historical dust back into the present?

I am so glad that your family is making you resurface, I've sorely missed you and been wondering, if you had given up on blogging altogether.