Dust Rabbits

Posted on May 13, 2021


For a fair number of years, Life in the Boomer Lane has had someone come into her house every two weeks (or maybe three or four) and clean. Her cleaning person was reliable, efficient, and an absolute pleasure to be around.

When COVID hit, that stopped. Since LBL no longer has children running all over the house, she believed that keeping after the house herself would be doable. She and Now Husband rolled up their sleeves. They cleaned the kitchen after each use, kept after the bathrooms, and Now Husband vacuumed. But in spite of their efforts, the the dust and debris, like like the insidious leftover acolytes of Trumpism, refused to disappear. And LBL was to realize that, just as she did when the results of the last presidential election came in, she had lulled herself into a false sense of security.

The weeks and months and year plus passed. A week ago, LBL noticed that a large fuzzy animal seemed to have wedged itself behind the bedroom radiator and the wall. Upon closer inspection, the animal turned out to be a world-class volume of dust. LBL went into immediate action, resulting in finding out that the vacuum cleaner nozzle did not connect to the vacuum cleaner. Undeterred, LBL spent about an inordinate amount of time trying to vacuum the area while holding the nozzle against the vacuum hose. She went next to the dining room radiator and discovered a close family member of the bedroom animal. She repeated the process. At that point, she counted the remaining radiators in the house (8) and decided that the rest of the dust family could continue to reside exactly where they were. After all, they were always quiet, made no demands, and never stole food from the refrigerator or pantry.

This morning, to celebrate everyone’s vaccines, Millie, cleaner-extraordinaire, arrived at the house again. Millie brought another cleaner with her. LBL was proud of how well she had kept up with the house in Millie’s absence. She began to reassess that belief when she realized that Millie and her helper were spending a couple hours in the bedroom and bathroom. They emerged exhausted. Millie described doing battle with the dust behind the bedroom radiator and LBL told her that she had already cleaned it. Millie looked skeptical and said, “The radiator at the window–” and LBL broke in to say “Oh, I didn’t get to that one.” Millie simply said, “I could tell.”

Five hours later, the two women were finally finished. Millie walked over to LBL who was on her laptop. Sweat was pouring down her face. In all the years she had been cleaning for LBL, LBL had never seen this. LBL apologized profusely, inanely telling her how she had, during the past year, scrubbed the bathroom floor on her hands and knees, and tried to clean the shower floor with a toothbrush.

Millie’s answer was “Why didn’t you call me?” Then, realizing that she should be more gracious to her employer, added, “Your house doesn’t have cobwebs. A lot of houses have cobwebs now. You are doing really well.”

LBL, grateful for that bone thrown to her, handed her a large check, and thanked her profusely. Millie, while mopping her face, added, “Your house looks good, now, right?” LBL couldn’t agree more. She is eternally grateful for Millie. After Millie left, LBL walked the house and both admired Millie’s work and confirmed that, just as Millie had kindly noted, there were no cobwebs anywhere. She can sleep easy tonight.

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Posted in: humor