Things come clean This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 23, 2010
A friend and I were cleaning out his grandmother’s cottage after she moved out; the house had remained untouched for years. Form walking up the driveway you could tell that this was a house that was once busy and well cared for; it was in the woods, on a peninsula and yet the driveway was composed of broken asphalt, the car in the driveway was a classy convertible. In the side-yard were a boat and some cars, all left untouched, except by the weather and seasons. In the house were hardwood cabinets, filled with food and fine china, on the surrounding little shelves were little glass bobbles collecting dust. On the walls were plaques and plates, paint and stone work, all worn by age and cluttered. The wooden walls had acquired a pale ghostly sheer to them and the cobwebs wriggled like banners of solitude and loneliness.
It was obvious that someone had made this building a home at some time and that it still had the potential to become one again, all it needed was to come clean. We began about our mission of building salvation the way one might go about a personal one, we removed all of the littlest memories sitting upon shelves, dusting them then setting them aside to be washed again later, the sheets and linens were removed revealing the truth of the mess that lied below. The floors were swept and the furniture dusted, removing the first layers that were upon the real stains.
As we stacked everything in the drive way to be cleaned later I listened to my friend tell me about the things we moved, the small figurines that his grandmother had gotten from his grandfather while they ran their business in Florida, the machines that were now antiquated, but were once the pinnacle of technology. The pride that his grandparents had had in their things, all in perfect working order, even after they themselves were worn and gone. I was determined to make things right again so that those things that had been cherished so much, touched by so many memories could be enjoyed in the future.
It took us nearly a week to clean the house, the grime that had collected was unthinkable, but in time the wood cleared and took polish, the china was wiped clean and sparkled, and every small statue was brushed off and stood back in its place. The old food was removed and the broken things fixed, we mowed and raked the yard and planted flowers. We repaired the water ruined floors and polished every metal plate, hanging it in the sunlight where it shone. We collected the old machines, cleaning and assembling what we could and left the house in the best condition that we could.
As I was leaving the house I thought to my self, what a difference it makes when you take the time to give every part of a something its due attention. Look at how a bit of time, work, soap and water can find the true beauty in something others had thought lost its purpose. If we took the time and effort to clean and care for our minds and ourselves this way; then, maybe we could achieve the renowned honor the simple things can maintain despite us.





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