56 days and counting...

Fifty six days and counting... this is getting serious. One of the most
challenging parts of entering this sabbatical is getting our house ready. Yes, working on a vision and plan, writing and re-writing and then frantically editing our proposal was tough. But cleaning the house in such a way that I feel good about opening it to a friend and colleague... THAT is work! You see, we're "go with the flow" people. The polar opposite of vigorous cleaners. So while I am thrilled and grateful that our "sabbatical interim" pastor and his spouse will be staying in our home, that means we have to get over our organic sloppiness and make it hospitable.

I spent five hours this week-end on the kitchen. And another hour later this afternoon, too. With three hours on my study. There's three more rooms to go and then some serious work on the floors. Most of the time we've embraced the wisdom of Erma Bombeck who, after discovering her life ending illness, wrote about cleaning less and enjoying guests more. 

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

This makes perfect sense to me providing, of course, that I am around to do the entertaining. With me gone, I want my guests to know that this place isn't covered in dog hair. I want to make certain that my study doesn't look like something from "Hoarders" with piles of books and newspapers creating a maze that only I comprehend. I want our friends to be able to find things in our kitchen so that they can enjoy summer in the Berkshires.

By 8 pm it was looking like we had a fighting chance. Oh damn, I just remembered that we have to include the basement and garage, too. Well, we've got 56 more days...

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