As much as I hate to let go of summer, I am trying to embrace the Autumn. It’s always felt like the genuine start of a new year to me – all the relaxed ease of the summer goes out of our lives, and for our family there’s a general sense that it is time to settle down and get to work. Maybe it’s a holdover from the school years, but September and October feel like you should buy office supplies and generally get some sort of grip on… everything. In Joe, this looks like mumbling around the house muttering words like “plans” and “next” and making piles of paper, that and he’s far more likely to say “good idea” to my suggestion that we call the guy about the porch ceiling than “let’s get to that soon.” (That is Joe for “Hell no we’re not doing a renovation.” Also, happening this week, I hope. The thing leaked last year and while the roof is fixed, the ceiling of it drops peeling paint in our hair while we come and go now. Winter is definitely not going to improve it.)
For me, it’s a time of the great and mighty list and spreadsheet, and for scrawling grand statements of intent on the tops of notepads. Bold statements that say things like “Organize Main Floor” or “Deal With Closets” or my favourite (just wrote this one down this morning) “Christmas?” (The astute among you will note that these are particularly crappy plans, lacking form or detail, and being too large for anyone to accomplish in one go, no matter how tidy the block letters are that you wrote it in.)
(This is Ken’s sweater, so close to the end that it’s silly that I spent the morning sorting the bathroom out. It needs just a few hours of my time. )
This year I am particularly interested in “getting the house together” (similarly vague and difficult to accomplish, I know.) One of two things is going to happen this winter. Either the pandemic situation is going to improve significantly and people are going to start coming in my house again, in which case I had better tidy up, or things are not going to get better, and a long-lonely winter stretches ahead of me and I don’t think that I can get through it if the junk drawer in the kitchen is still like this. (Actually, and more to the point, I don’t think Joe can get through my winter if they drawer is still like that.) Things are going to have to get better in this house no matter what, and the great time of deferral, of lying in the sunshine and thinking that I’ll clean up on a day when it’s not so nice out…it’s over, and it’s time to clean something.
It is time to feather this nest, to dust, to organize, to take things to the thrift shop, to finally fix that stupid shelf and get the right kind of lightbulb for that lamp that’s all wrong. It is time to toss the stash (more on that another day) and start to make a list of what yarn I need to buy for the winter. (I find it’s best to do this right after the stash toss, when I’ve just had a good visit with it and can’t possibly convince myself I’m low on sock yarn.) It’s time to wash the fronts of cupboards and prune plants in the backyard and this year, be the kind of person who rakes up all the leaves before the snow lands on them and you have to clean them up all slimy in the spring.
(A little shawl from the Gauge Dye Works August club – it would be done if the kitchen pantry wasn’t so sorted now. Also, bastard slugs do you see those leaves.)
This feeling, the urge to clean … well, anything to be clear, is a rare one for me. I like being organized but I really hate cleaning, and usually I have to bribe myself with knitting and audio books to get it done at all, so if the mood is with me… I’m going to go dust.