In preparation for the dual visits of my mom and my sister-in-law and niece. I have obsessed about cleaning, tidying, putting away, organizing - all the things I normally do, but more so. (That's me, in my pearls and housedress. No, really!) It's silly, of course. My mom will be delighted to have things to clean, fold, put away, work on. But I want things looking basically family-shape before they come.
So I cleaned out the pantry, the refrigerator, and the rec room. (Thank goodness I'd already cleaned out the storage areas and kids' closets last month.) In the process of the manic cleaning, I created an embarrassing pile-up of paper, glass, and plastic to lug to the Morgan Falls Recycling Center. With two tweens in tow to help, I loaded up the entire back of the Odyssey and hoped it wouldn't fall out when I opened the back hatch.
As I parked, one of the staffers came over to help me unload everything. No problem with the cans and glass. The paper, however, was another story. It was comingled, a fact that usually isn't a problem when my delivery is just one bin. So he took a handful of cardboard while I separated the newspapers and magazines from the paper bags and "office papers" to recycle them correctly. The tweens chased after random bits of paper that tried to fly away, and patiently lugged 2003 phone books and old schoolwork and empty cereal boxes to their receptacles. The plastics weren't too bad, other than trying to read the micetype logos (is it a 3? a 4? should we try a pencil rubbing on scrap paper?).
I drove away relieved it was out of the house.
Ah, what a tidy pantry. Everything is sorted, labeled, and scrubbed. The refrigerator gleams (As I scrubbed, my mind wandered to Kate Gosselin of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fame - she devoted an entire episode to cleaning out a "disgusting" refrigerator in the new home they just purchased. I KNOW mine doesn't compare, but I also didn't want to devote four hours to the job. As she did.)
Right now, the washing machine is churning yet another load of comforters, sheets, and blankets as the dryer emits a satisfying scent of cleanliness. The guest suite is ready, the house looks satisfactory, and I'm ready to meet Mom's train Wednesday morning and greet my sister-in-law and niece on Friday evening.
I love having company. Now I can enjoy their time with us.