Friday, May 18, 2007

Lost In The Translation...Or Maybe The Dust

I think we've got some new residents moving in soon. I haven't exactly been in the loop too much on this process, because these are two young women working internships over the summer, not our usual "upper room ministry" guests who have, for the most part, been people in immediate need with rather untidy lives.

These young women, both college kids, or graduates, or around the age of my daughters - okay, I don't really know squat about them personally - will be working with the local newspaper in photography and reporting. They have their own transportation, jobs, and heck - they even want to pay us rent, albeit we've insisted on it being fairly minimal since we still consider this a they've offered to dog sit when we go out of town.

Yeah, Amy somehow found them and it sounded so good I decided I'd stay out of it for fear of mucking it up.

However, now I'm realizing crunch time is coming. There's some uncertainty as to when we should expect them, and they're not coming together - really I don't think they know each other, at least not more than via an email relationship.

Suddenly I've noticed, okay...maybe it hasn't been exactly sudden...more like now I'm panicking about it, that we've been living pretty "untidy lives." Our house is a wreck.

It's been only Amy, the dogs and me for a while now...the "QUARANTINED" sign on the front door seems to keep most folks at bay, except girl scouts and some rather persistent Mormons...but even they never venture from the porch. So I haven't been too concerned about our lack of house keeping, unless I trip over something or find a rodent leaving the house in disgust.

In truth, we never really fully recovered from when work crews destroyed most of the house while "fixing" the foundation. Moving everything in your home into one room only to then have it all caked in inch thick concrete dust because the foundation repair "experts" apparently thought taping tarps to the door frames "as high as they could reach" would be sufficient, only gave me a chance to delicately explain that most of these guys were sort of short. They didn't seem to be offended, they smiled and nodded politely...then again they didn't speak English and I don't speak Spanish.

So everything, I mean everything in the house got filthy, not only the stuff we stuffed away so it wouldn't get filthy, but every square inch of the house, every window frame, every book shelf, every piece of clothing, every curtain, all the carpets, and of course all our dust cloths.

Needless to say it's been a gradual - okay, a very very very slow - recovery process with the exception of complaint letters about the foundation firm which I managed to whip out rather quickly, after blowing the dust off my keyboard and finding some printer paper that wasn't concrete gray.

Admittedly this recovery period has been extended a tad bit by the fact that we are not people that any sane person has ever has ever branded as "neat and tidy"...okay, we are lazy. I can't help it if once I shoveled out the TV I realized there were a bunch of programs on our DVR we needed to catch up on.

In any case, we've started to crank up the process of getting things "tidy" in earnest. Dang re-runs.

Actually Amy found a house keeper. I don't know where Amy finds these people, young interns needing a place to live, people who will actually clean our house, but Amy does, and to me it's like the hot dog making process...don't ask.

The housekeeper is showing up tomorrow, apparently undaunted by our repeated warnings that it will be far worse than she expects. Of course, we're not completely certain she speaks English, but her husband assures us she understands and won't run out of the house screaming.

Even when you pay someone to help you get your house in order, the reality is you've got to get your house in some type of order before they arrive. I mean I can't ask this woman to sort through the mountains of mail that I've tossed in a basket looking to make sure there's not a check from Ed MacMahon amid the Diet Pepsi cans, and empty nyquil bottles from last winter. Well I could ask her, but I have certain standards - plus I'm not sure how much she'd charge.

So, I've spent most of today, and likely a good chunk of tomorrow morning, clearing away the top layer of clutter.

Believe me there's still plenty to do.

We've made some headway, but the house still looks like a war zone. Still, if the housekeeper does run away screaming, odds are I won't even notice.

I really need to clean my glasses and probably remove some of the dust from ears.

Maybe learn some Spanish too.