Monday, August 3, 2009

Cleaning Up

The farm was still standing when I got home. It was even straightened up. But it was dirty. This is how bad it was: It stunk. It took me two days to clean up the clutter that was thrown into the pantry. When I finally got inside, I found a plastic gallon with sour milk inside and the shelf was stained where the potatoes rotted and melted through the bag. The hot dogs in the refrigerator were green-molded. Hot dogs are full of preservatives—they last forever. I don’t think I can get the stains out of the toilet. Kurt said that’s okay; we need a new one anyway. It was dark. I replaced two light bulbs in the chandelier in the kitchen. I soaked the kitchen sink and the coffee pot in bleach. I Windexed, polished or scrubbed every horizontal surface in the house causing my sponge to disintegrate and my mop to fall apart leaving wet yarns all over the floor. The weeds were growing up through the deck and the deck is high. I’m sorry, it’s a cliché, but it was a jungle out there. The barn smelled like a cellar. Saddle pads were speckled with mold. Mud daubers built nests on the pommels of saddles and there was cat poop or puke, I couldn’t tell which, on the floor. No one picked up manure in weeks.

I’ve been cleaning non-stop. I’m glad to be home and get my place back in order. Even more glad to be with my husband and daughter again. (Even though those two were the culprits in this mess.) But I feel guilty about going on with my life, sweeping the porch, riding a horse, while my mother is suffering up there. I haven’t been able to talk to her since I got home. She’s been too incoherent. They have her on a heavy-duty pain drug that is knocking her out. I couldn’t help thinking, this is what it will be like if I lose her. I won’t be able to tell her about the stains in the sink or the weeds in the yard. I won’t be able to say, “Do you believe this Ma?”

And yet…I am distracted by the dust.

16 comments:

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Hi Debi... I've been wondering about you and your mother.... wondered how she was doing. Sounds like the entire family depends on you and I hope that you are taking the time to love yourself right now.

*kicks hubby and daughter in pants for not doing their part while you were away*

Sending good thoughts your way during what I know is a difficult time. Hugs my bloggy friend.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Amy Tate said...

Oh Debi, I've missed you and I'm so sorry that you're going through this. You must feel so torn in between two places and numb for not knowing how to process it. Maybe the dust is a good thing - it's distracting you and you sound like you could use the distraction. Let's get together when your able. I'm sending a hug to you through your blog!

nyredhead271 said...

I'm sorry you went home to such a mess and now you feel torn because you are worried about your mother. I wish I could take some of the sadness away for you. It is good that you are writing about it. I am thinking about you and wishing that you have strength and peace.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

So sorry you had to face such a mess when you got home. Now that you have things back in shape, take some time just for yourself.

I'm sending hugs to you during this very difficult time.

sweetflutterbys3 said...

It's strange how everyday life tugs at you when you are going through such a tough time. I'm sorry about your mom. I'll pray for strength for both of you.

Beth said...

I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this, Debi. I agree with Sweet Virginia Breeze: now that you've got things in order at home, you should take at least a few hours to restore your own body and spirit---to take care of Debi.

Sending good thoughts and prayers your way, my friend.

Jamie Ferraioli said...

You're hilarious. I can picture you coming in like a hurricane and Kurt and Kelly ducking for cover. Same as me with Lou.

As for the last thing you said...this is why mothers have daughters. Now I can say to you "Do you believe this Ma?" and the cycle continues! Plus you can always say the same to me...cept you can call me Jam.

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

You guys are very sweet and you make me feel better. Thank you my friends.

Jamie, what you said made me cry. You are a wonderful daughter. Yes, this is why I am lucky enough to have daughters. You are my sweet meem and you mean the world to me.

Becky Mushko said...

We're glad to have you back. I hope things get better for you in many ways.

CountryDew said...

I was hoping your return meant good news; I am sorry to learn otherwise. Cleaning can be very therapuetic, but do take time out for yourself. You're in my prayers.

Claudia Condiff said...

Missed you Deb, glad you are home, but not as glad as the farm and your hubby and daughter are, or your horse children!
Hugs and a prayer for your Mom...
C

gingerhillery@mac.com said...

Isn't it great to realize how needed you are around the farm! Ha! Ha!

I know what you mean about the mixed emotions-guilt, frustration, happiness in returning home, loneliness.

I can just smell the rotten potatoes. You are right. Those are the things you gritch and groan about with your mom. No one can understand like your mom. Heck, she's been there! Hang in there. I pray you get some glimmers of light in the middle of it. And some brilliant moments of coherency with your mom, right when you need them the most. In the meantime, enjoy the nice clean kitchen.

Cowgirly said...

Cleaning is hard enough but when it smells- that's the worst. So sorry you had to go through that. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers :)

Snappy Finger said...

Hi Debi. First I want to ask how your mom is doing and let you know that I am thinking of her and you as well. Stay in touch by e-mail if you don't find the time to blog.

Also, my blog name has changed from The Blue Ridge Gal to Snappy Finger so it has a new url.

Di
Snappy
http://snappyfinger.blogspot.com/

Country Girl said...

Thanks, Debi, for coming to visit my blog. Reading this post, I began to get angry when I realized this stinking mess had been created by your family. And then I read that you had gone on a mission of mercy and kindness to care for your sick mother. And then I became really mad. Mad at people I don't even know who let the house become this mess.

I think you are somewhat like me, however, taking the bad and turning it into something good. The dust is distracting you and taking away your thoughts of your mother.

But next time, if you go away, things had better be different when you come home!!

Motley said...

Deb, I'm sure it wasn't that bad! After all there is noone as clean as you!!