Seasonal piles

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I only clean for new people. In fact, if I clean for you, we probably aren’t that close — yet.

As I was bustling around last weekend preparing for a new guest, I stopped, looked at BoyWonder’s Gorgeous Girlfriend (GG for short), and said, “Honey, I hope you take this as the compliment it is, but I don’t clean for you anymore.”

She just smiled, then laughed, and said, “Don’t worry, we don’t clean for him either.”

That, my friends, is comfortable. It is also a sign of the time of year. I like a clean house.

Don’t get me wrong. I am super sensitive to smells, so stinky is a turn off for me. Anything else is fair game. I truly don’t mind if you have some clutter, shoes by the door, dishes by the sink. A laundry mountain. That, my friends, is the sign of a life well lived. In fact, it’s almost a sign of the seasons to see what piles up. Where once we had wet towels and bathing suits, now we see soccer socks, uniforms and bath towels.

Piles

We are at that magical time of year when we seem to do the same laundry daily. I swear if you need anything else clean you will want to see me in November.

Since our laundry room is adjacent to our downstairs bathroom (aka in our downstairs bathroom), anyone who visits gets an up close and personal acquaintance with our laundry piles. I would say “baskets” but it’s more like “piles” at this point. The piles each have an owner. We aren’t savages. We are all about organized chaos.

Fall

This, my friends, more than piles of leaves, is a sign of fall for me. Other signs of fall are that our meals have moved from the grill to slow cooker — or more likely take out.

School and sports are back in session. I love this season, but it’s a sign of the time flying by, too. By this time of year, the tiki torches that line the patio have developed a lean. The fuel has long run out, so they sputter and die like fireflies if we do attempt to light them. There are leaves fluttering into the swimming pool. Our commitment to weeding has waned.

We are truly in the dog days of summer, if by that you mean that the dogs have basically reclaimed the yard. Our main dog, Ace, continues his quest to destroy any soccer ball he can get his paws — and jaws — on. The fresh, glossy balls he cadged from the kids have now been replaced with tattered remnants of ball covers. He greets guests at the driveway with them like some homeless street dog.

It’s all very sad. He’s working the system though since he can sometimes get people to take pity on him and bring him biscuits and things. It’s a job.

Porch

Our freshly scrubbed porch and freshly fluffed pillows have made way for some dust bunnies under the wicker and ice tea glass rings on the tables. The candles we burned on summer nights are now melted nubs. The endless trek of bare feet, boots and dripping footprints straight from the pool have worn a path through the paint yet again.

Although the calendar — and thermometer — still say “summer,” I know pumpkin season is upon us. Soon soup and sweaters will over ride the cleats, wet towels, errant coffee cups and beach ball that has been in the creek since possibly (probably) mid-July. I’m sure a more on-the-ball person (see what I did there?) would have fished that out of the creek long ago.

To me, it adds a festive summer flair. Not to mention that if we wait long enough we can trick the dog into fetching a pumpkin down there.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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