Keeping it fresh on the homefront

I am about the lowest-maintenance woman you are ever going to meet.

I don’t ask for vacations, flowers, jewelry or a new car. All it took to make me grin all weekend was having my TV wall-mounted and getting new blinds up on the sliding doors. I had been contemplating these tasks for years. I can’t think why it took me so long to book a TV hanger, order the blinds and make it happen, but when I finally did, it was thrilling.

Of course, I didn’t stop there. I got to sort out tangled cords and rearrange the entire family room. I require a change about every three years, a habit left from my Air Force childhood. I just get bored with my surroundings, and since I can’t lose the entire house, I must at least give it a fresh perspective.

I flipped the sectional around, got rid of the coffee table and cleaned out corners that hadn’t seen daylight in some time. I am still enough of a neat freak that this makes me feel like a new woman. Well, it did after I went on to rearrange the living room furniture, shine up a tea table, move the credenza, the dining table and chairs, change tablecloths, switch out my decorative baskets and mop the floor. Oh yeah, I was on cleaning-high roll.

I am enormously fortunate that my young, strong, 6-foot-3-inch, gracious and helpful godson was on hand to do the heavy lifting, For decades I did it all myself, and am now the proud owner of a dodgy lower back. Occasionally, I get impatient and just do it myself anyway, but it leaves me resembling the first cousin of the Notre Dame hunchback.

Maybe it’s because it’s spring. Maybe it’s my three-year itch. All I had to do to get my grin on was to wander through the downstairs, oohing and aahing. As I said, my victories need only be small, but I wouldn’t say no to a cruise to Curacao, should the subject come up.


Jean Gillette is a freelance writer with washerwoman’s elbow and a smile on her face. Contact her a



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