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Getting Down and Dirty


You know, there is nothing quite so healing as getting down and dirty. I'm not talking about sex either, although a good down and dirty love-making session actually is very healing, if its with the right person at the right time.

No, I'm talking about housecleaning, cleaning out closets, and gardening. Snatch those weeds up by the roots! Clean out those dark closets! Haul off those dead limbs! What a metaphor for life and oh my goodness, the therapeutic effects are amazing.

I've been on a cleaning and gardening blitz for the past couple of months. After a three year binge in grunge, clutter, and mayhem my house is amazingly organized, my yard beautiful and blooming. How did I do it? Well, I tackled a room a week, which means I've been at it for about eight weeks now. But Oh So Worth It. I'm looking around now and thinking "why did it take me so long!"

Well, first off my Dad died. Tough nursing him through lung cancer, on top of which our mother was inconsolable (they'd been married 63 years) and required tons of attention. Of course, there was my private practice. Then we sold a second home (which required a lot of work to put on the market) and then bought another (which took time to decorate and make liveable) and for a couple of years, that took all of my extra time, especially since on weekends I'd leave the mess here and go there where I didn't have to think any of it at all, especially the part about people I love dying or disappearing out of my life forever...

Then I decided to write a novel, largely because I needed a place to put all of that emotion. But of course, that was a huge commitment of time. For two years all of my spare time was spent in front of the computer. Oh, and I picked up a paint brush and decided to learn how to oil paint, because I was afraid of getting old and dying myself, without ever having tried. I hope you checked them out.

But this old house, I hate to admit, went to hell in the process.

Now I no longer have any of those excuses. Right now everyone is doing well. I've got two beautiful grandchildren. Our son and his wife are renting the second home, the book is with an agent, and my mother, bless her sweet dear soul, has gotten over the worst of her grief, unfortunately settling into a gradual decline into dementia with a caregiver. I visit her about once every couple of weeks. I paint about one day a week, which is my special treat to myself. Instead of trying to turn it into a business I use it as my therapy.

For the first time in three years I'm not running hither and fro, or typing my little head off.

It feels great. Wonderful. I can find things now. I plan on kayaking soon.

My house is clean. Life is good.


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