Friday, April 23, 2010

The Sprinkler

A couple summers ago I was training very diligently for a half marathon. Though I would run early in the morning, the heat would often become so oppressive I would have to cut my runs short.

On one such morning, I had become so overheated that I changed course and began my run home after only a couple miles. As I ran through the sleepy streets, I couldn't help but notice how many homes had sprinklers running full tilt. They were drenching lawns with lovely, cold, and inviting water.

I was thirst-quenched. The sprinklers wrecked havoc with my dehydrated body. I focused on getting home where I would reward myself with a brimming glass of ice cold water.

But, as I passed house after house of sprinkler-soaked lawns my thirst became absolutely unbearable. I began to not only notice the sprinklers, but that the blinds were drawn on most of the homes. The people inside were still asleep with their air conditioners churning. My mind turned to that of a criminal. "Who would mind if I took one sip of water from a sprinkler?"

Well, these things never play out the way we expect them to in our minds.

I did indeed attempt to take a drink from a sprinkler. However, in my dehydrated state, the sprinkler I chose was one of those high-powered doodads that rocket-launch water across the lawn. They spray out with a rat-tat-tat-tat and then they fire back with a tattattattat! I bent over the sprinkler and tried to get any amount of water to stay in my mouth while the power of the blast threatened to launch a hole through my cheek.

It was in that very undignified position that I saw them. I glanced to notice the two slippered feet standing just inches away from my head. I shot up in a flash and came face-to -face with a most confused older woman. She looked perplexed and none to happy that I had tried to syphon a sip of her water. Her hands were on her hips and her pj's were covered by an old fuzzy bathrobe.

I stammered that I was sorry and that I was just incredibly thirsty but she spoke not one word. She just stared at me as I sprinted down the street with my thirst forgotten and my shirt sopping wet.

When I got home, I ran the hose over my head and sat on the patio. It took a few minutes for the me to grasp the hilarity of the situation and to have a good laugh. I thought that next time I should pick a gentler sprinkler, but then decided that next time I would be better off to carry my water with me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My floors

I have heard that when it comes to housecleaning everyone has their "thing"; their one thing that matters. If that one thing is clean, all is well with the world. My thing is the floors. If I can walk barefoot on my floors without succumbing to grit, I can conquer the world! If my floors are dirty and grimy they will so haunt me that I can't accomplish a thing.

As I was tackling the floors today I realized what a story those tiles could tell. While I mop them and scrub them, there are little hints of life with children that are seemingly permanent.

When I open my closet, I see tiny drops of bright pink nail polish that remind me of the time that my daughter dropped the bottle and it shattered. While I cleaned up the most evident spots, I overlooked a few. They really don't bother me. They remind me of my precious daughter and her love of bling and beautiful.

In my front room, you will see googly eyes stuck to the floor. Every time I mop over them I am reminded that I really ought to scrape them up. But, then there wouldn't be anymore googly eyes on the floor. And, honestly, they make me smile. I don't know how they came to reside on my floor, but googly eyes are just fun.

There is also the streak of brown from when I vacuumed over a non-washable crayon and a patch of turquoise where some little artist decorated with a non-washable marker. The carpet in the kids' rooms is littered with colored sticker stars. I vacuum over and over them but they remain. They are all bits of evidence of life in my home. Life with color, vivaciousness, and Crayola products.

All these little blemishes just need a few moments of time to tend too. Yet they remain. I guess my decorating style right now is "Early Childhood in Progress." And, I am good with that because the floor isn't gritty. It may have googly eyes and modern art, but there is no grit to drive me crazy! And, I know that some day, the googly eyes will wear away and I will long for them. My house with be quiet and peaceful and I will long for the chaos of raising children.