To Dust or Not to Dust

My number one chore growing up?



We all took turns unloading the dishwasher.  Somehow the bathroom was always clean or, well, mostly.  I remember washing out the tub regularly, but it was never MY chore.  We rotated vacuuming and things like that, but dusting?

When you said dusting in our house, folks automatically thought of me.

Every Saturday.

Back in the days of Saturday morning cartoons, I would run out during commercial breaks and do as much as I could in another room, posting my baby brother as a sentry to “holler” when the show was coming back on.  It’s amazing, and you might not believe it, but that living room was the best dusted room in the house.

The others?

Not so much.

I had some “viewing” to do.

I miss Saturday morning programming.  (Thunder?  Isis?  Shazam?  HR Pufnstuf?  The Jetsons?  Those were great shows!)   But I digress.

Occasionally I had the choice of staying inside and dusting or going out and mowing.  I didn’t let the door hit me as I raced outside.  I wasn’t sure who picked up my slack inside at the time, but now I have an inkling.

No one.

I may hear differently from Sister, Mess Cat, or Bubba, but I learned in just the past few years that perhaps Mama was overdoing it, having me dusting every. single. Saturday.

A few years ago we were on the phone.   She used her special word that she and my great Aunt would say when they had done something they really didn’t want to do, but now felt awesome about having done it.  “I’m feeling pretty sanctimonious,” she said.  “I just dusted the whole house.  It’s been a few weeks.”

Excuse me?  Mama who had me dusting every week say what now?

Yep.  She no longer dusted the house weekly.  Which is why I’m pretty sure she let it go when I was out there mowing.

And I thought I was getting the better end of the deal.

Eh.  Considering all the stories I made up in my head while I was out there, I probably did.  I loved mowing grass.

Last night my dearfriend whose name is not Shirley jokingly complained that someone she’d hired to come sit with her Daddy did housework and even dusted her house while she was there.  “And I just wanted her to sit with my Daddy!”

“Yeah, who wants their house dusted?” I laughed.

“I know.  I had it all set and ready for Halloween,” she joked back as she waved bye.


You know, that’s an idea.

Today I noticed, as I was looking for our copy of Be Nice to Spiders on our bookshelves, that it’s been a little while since I dusted.  Probably even longer than Mama ever let her house go.  And we all now know she was a slacker when it came to dusting.   Yep, it needs a good dusting job.

But wait.  There’s Halloween coming.  It does lend a spooky sort of air to things.

So I decided to wait until next week.  And then I saw someone post how few Fridays there are until Christmas (just stop it y’all), and I thought about how cute it would be to have the dust there where little elves could leave footprints or write messages in it.  Maybe Santa will even leave a print himself?


So of course no dusting before Christmas, right?  And I can’t on New Year’s Day because whatever you do that day, you’ll be doing all year long and well, we canNOT have that.  At all.

Dust makes me think of a light dusting of snow too.  Perfect decoration for January.  And–best part–absolutely free.

And when February rolls around, we can all leave little love messages on the shelves and end tables and what not…..won’t that be sweet?

That’s really as far as I got in thinking about how useful it is to have a dusty house. (I mean, now I’m thinking about how deprived I was growing up.  A dust-free house? So sad.) But give me time.  I’m sure I’ll come up with something for March too.

And then spring housekeeping will hit.  Maybe that will be the perfect time to dust?

Tonight I’m thankful for the laughter I hear in my heart that I am sure is my Mama.  She and Daddy always called me on my procrastinating, and I know she’s shaking her head at me now.  “Just go on and get it done, T. Annie,” she’d be saying, I’m sure.  “You’ll feel so much better after you’re through.  You might even feel sanctimonious.”

Ha.  I just might.

In the meantime, I’m worn out.  Coming up with valid reasons not to dust my house has slap worn me out.

Wishing you all some silly fun and well-intentioned procrastinating success.  Love to all.


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