My house is a disaster right now. The dishes from dinner are still on the table, my laundry is threatening to burst from the hamper and attack any passersby, and the rugs and carpets are hard evidence that our vacuum has been broken for a couple weeks now.
Usually when things get this dire, I joke that my cozy little home has morphed into a frat house.
But given my recent binge-watching of Greek, I’m a little more familiar with actual, TV frat houses – and all of a sudden the joke isn’t quite as funny. So, that just leaves me with a dirty house. And since I hate cleaning (like, REALLY hate it), this situation is a TOTAL LEMON.
It’s not the only lemon-ish part of my house, though.
For the last six months of my pregnancy and the first three months after I had Adrienne, we had our house listed for sale. When it became clear that it wasn’t going to sale at its current price (the lowest one we could afford), our agent recommended taking it off the market for a while.
So we did. And now we’re stuck here for a while longer.
It’s a small house, and an old house where things are breaking or falling apart on a fairly regular basis. It stays cluttered because I don’t have enough space to put things – and no organization system has conquered the lack of shelves, closets and office-slash-guestroom. What worked fine eleven years ago for a family of two has become very crowded for our family of four.
No hall closet? LEMON.
Laundry in the garage? LEMON.
Teeny tiny kitchen? BIG FAT LEMON.
It’s true. This house – this messy, too-small house – is a lemon. But here’s what else is true: It doesn’t take that long to clean it up.
It’s past my bedtime now, so I’m going to do the bare minimum before crashing. But tomorrow? It will only take me about an hour to whip this place into shape. I’m not saying it will be sparkling or anything (ugh. I said I hate cleaning!), but the dishes and the toys and the laundry and the papers and the Cheerio confetti? It will all get swept up and put away in the same amount of time it takes me to watch one more episode of Greek.
And THAT is how I’m making lemonade out of my house.
Does your house ever hand you lemons? How do you make lemonade?
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I have to give a little chuckle-I am currently without a home! Not as bad as it seems but we are living in a temporary place, without any of our ‘stuff’ that makes it homey feeling and too far away the ones I love. I was sucking lemons about this for a while! I keep reminding myself that it is only temporary and that we will find a home-maybe not the home of my dreams-but it will be what we need. The lemonade in all this is the reminder that God knows and reminds me of his presence in the smallest way-via a tiny window! Out this window I can see the most beautiful field and watch the colors of the sky change over the trees throughout the day. This is such a gift to someone who always wanted to live in the country! The coffeepot is next to this window too so I can be found hanging out there A LOT! Little things, I know, but more often it is the little ways He reaches out to me that allow me to breathe the deepest.
Thank you for bringing a smile to my day !!
I read your story on your blog, Susan, and I think I would’ve held tight to those lemons and my frustration in your shoes! I’m so thankful for your encouragement to find the coffeepot with a view anyway. :)
i was grumping around this morning about the dishes in the sink. or rather, the ones that covered the counter. i was going to hold out for a kid to do them, but decided that it wouldn’t take too long. and… it didn’t. good luck today!
Thanks!! Our power has been out all day, so I’ve been working at the library and now Panera. The upside is that I’ve been more productive than usual. The downside is the house is still a mess. (I’m kidding, of course. NOT cleaning is always an upside, haha!) :)
Enjoyed your post, look forward to reading more
I didn’t have great housekeeping skills when we got married. Or after we had two kids. But we lived in a small house when my third was born, and having a limited living space made it MUCH easier to clean up- like you said, about an hour.
I kept some of those skills as we moved into a larger house. Lemonade!
I thought my husband was nuts when he designed a ‘scaled-down’ retirement house on the computer several years ago…it turned out to be ginormous – and it was little old me getting to clean it all! Lemon! Little did I know a few years later my daughter and my two awesome grandkids would have to move in with us. The house was suddenly just the right size! They get the downstairs and we get the upstairs. :) Last year the kids’ dad passed away…and my husband and I are their greatest (and closest!) support team. Lemonade! Over three years later it’s still working for us all…and I get to see my 15 year old granddaughter and 11 year old grandson grow up right under my nose! ;) I’m a very happy grandma! More lemonade please!
Oh, what an amazing story, Susan! I love the way God made your lemon house work!