the arrival

Saturday Evening, November 13th

The first couple of days I vowed to not do too much cleaning, or rather none at all. I would have 16 days to get to everything done and I wanted time to visit my gramma as well as focus on my looming midterm. I chose to tackle my math test right away so it wouldn’t interfere with my “process”.  However when I arrived and did a walk thru to assess the damage of Hurricane Chrystol, I realized that might not be so easy. One gander in the kitchen and I knew there would be some problems…

I am not the haughty taughty snooty type that is demanding or particularly picky about what or where I eat. Heck, as a kid I used to pick stuff up off the ground and eat it just cause my mom never gave us candy or treats! I like to camp out and eat in the woods, at the river, in the mountains or pretty much anywhere. It’s not uncommon when we camp to find ourselves eating from a half cleaned plate that was rinsed off in lake water, so a dirty kitchen doesn’t make me faint – but this was nothing I cared to spend any amount of time trying to avoid.

Things were piled up on every inch of counter space, I hardly had room to put a plate down let alone fix a meal in there! So I immediately started in the easiest place and dumped about two grocery bags full of cans that were stacked up next to the sink. They had no use or reason for sitting there shucked, rinsed and stacked other than, no one had placed them in the recycle can. Check. Then I started throwing out the several glasses full of straws and chopsticks that were being saved from all the trips to McDonald’s, the various Chinese buffets, and every other fast food joint you can imagine. Yes I said several…small collections sitting so far back on the counter the rest of the mess covered them up.

There are only two women living in this house so why there should be 100 of these items baffles me, so in the trash *grin*. Check. I filled up the dishwasher. Check. Threw out the small collection of used paper plates that were being “saved” in a unusual effort to save money perhaps? In the trash. Check. Once I could see counter space I started scrubbing wildly to remove the food, grease and ants *frown*. And as I got more space available the more I realized I needed a chisel to remove some of the caked on stuff. And the stove, oh my word…that was in desperate need of some scouring! I took the stove apart. Piece by piece and in wonderment that no grease fires had risen from that holy mess! I don’t think anyone in 19 or so years has ever removed the metal dish that sits under the electric disk. It literally had ash sitting in it. Stove. Check.

Since gramma was napping, I took several hours to try to conquer the kitchen Saturday night, and I’m still not entirely done. I wasn’t able to clean all of the cupboard doors and drawerfronts, or the floor *ewwh*. But I will get in there again in a couple of days and chip away at it. I also plan to go through all the cupboards and consolidate and reorganize the many items so that everyone can get to things more easily. I’m fairly nimble, my gramma is not, so I know she must get flustered trying to move about in those cabinets.

Once the project was done I felt good about cooking some nice meals for gram, and every time she goes in there she comments about how pretty it is. It makes me sad to know that when I leave here in two weeks, and my mom returns…it won’t stay that way for long.  Sometimes our captors are not the dark cloaked creepy backstreet wandering weirdos we see in the movies…sometimes, and most often, it’s someone much closer.

Aloma

Relax. Breathe. Focus.

Tomorrow….the living rooooom! *music drum roll please* 

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