Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stay Clean

The other day I was cleaning the kitchen, which is what I do every day after
dinner. I tie the apron, put the gloves on and get to work. Wash the
dishes then tackle the grime on the stove. Some nights I'm more meticulous than others, so I take the heating elements off and set them aside before getting into it. And some nights I really go to town and get out the "more-than-daily-cleaning" cleaning supplies for a thorough cleaning. You know, for the stuff that just doesn't come off easily. Monday night was one such night.

Scrubbing the stove can be both a therapeutic and an infuriating experience. Watching the grime come off revealing the beautifully unblemished surface underneath is the therapeutic part. Seeing the grime stick around after scrubbing so hard that little pieces of the sponge break off revealing muscle soreness in your triceps is the infuriating part. I was deep in the infuriating section when my mind started to wander. "That doesn't need to come off. It's fine." So I stopped and looked at the black mark on the stovetop, contemplating whether to go on or to throw in the towel - literally! Not really literally because I wasn't using a towel to scrub. It was a sponge, but to "throw in the sponge" isn't the saying, now is it.

I turned from the stove to put the sponge back in its place, then quickly
turned back and scrubbed the hell out of the mark until it was gone. That's
how it starts: A tiny seed of thought that says that dirt and grime are
welcome in our homes. But no. We won't allow them to take root on in our
kitchens, on our stoves. We will win the battle. With all the fortitude
and relentlessness as the dirt and grime, we will win.