On the weekend I saw an article about some of the beautiful local homes that will be featured in the upcoming Canadian Federation of University Women’s Heritage Perth Christmas House Tour. I looked at the pretty pictures and sighed a little wistfully.
This is the inspiration for this week’s column: Top 10 reasons why our house will never be on a house tour.
10. Architecturally speaking, if one may do so, there’s nothing wrong with our house. It is a lovely example of an 1840s Ontario cottage-style structure, typical for the area, ripe with history, full of anecdotes, a family treasure, and so on. Lovingly renovated in the 1980s, unique interior features, etc. The key would be to move all of our stuff out of it in order to make it pretty.
9. Now, by “making it pretty,” I should clarify that, too. It’s not that we don’t have nice stuff; we have many lovely pieces of furniture. Trouble is you can’t always see them for the clutter.
8. Which brings me to that whole clutter issue. Man, could I go on and on about clutter. Sometimes I joke about being featured on an episode of Hoarders, which is a bit of an exaggeration. If there were a show about Clutterers, though (and possibly there is – I just don't have time to watch much TV because I’m too busy accumulating paper), then I could probably play a starring role. Me and the people with whom I live, that is.
7. The short people have a lot of plastic things. It is amazing how much weird plastic junk accumulates over the years. Toy boxes get sorted periodically, but that is a task that could use a bit more frequency. You know it’s been a long time when one of the kids comes along, digs down deep into the toy box and finds an item that he or she hasn’t seen in two years and either a) doesn’t remember it at all or b) remembers it but greets it as a long-lost friend not seen in, well, two years or so.
6. Speaking of those short people, in Kindergarten they learned more about tidying up than they did at home. I am totally at fault for this because I’m too Type A for my own good. It’s faster for me to do it, but I run out of time to do it and then I stress about not doing it and it just doesn’t get done. In Kindergarten, though, the kids learn little songs about tidying up. Clearly life is a musical and we should sing more at home.
5. There must be a song out there about dust. I’m a fan of the “Dust if You Must” poem, which highlights how many other exciting life events you can be doing if you’re not dusting but, really, we do have to dust sometimes. I hate dusting. I also have a trinket sign hanging on the wall that says, “You may touch the dust, but please don't write in it.” Hahaha. Me so funny. Sigh.
4. Speaking of funny, cat hair is hilarious. Gut-splitting stuff, cat hair. I know I could get away with vacuuming less if it weren’t for those darned cats and their tumbleweed hair.
3. What? I’m only on number three? Darn it. I’m starting to run out of things to say about my cluttered house. And I’m also starting to feel a little depressed. Possibly I should hire a housekeeper.
2. You know, I blame my profession for this. For one thing, I would pretty much always rather be writing than cleaning. Secondly, I’m always saving and accumulating books or papers or notes that I think I might be able to use for something later – you know, like the Great Canadian Novel I haven’t quite gotten to writing yet. Of course, by the time I run across all these bits of information later on I can never quite remember why I kept them in the first place.
1. And the number one reason why our house will never be featured on a tour? Well, obviously, I don’t want all those people tracking dirt into the house.
Published in The Perth Courier, Nov. 18/10