Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Tedium and My First Job

Our temperatures here in the east are considerably milder than the rest of the country. A few days we got down to twelve degrees, but mostly it is in the twenties. One day our bathroom faucets froze (even though I had cracked them the night before) and my husband had to come home from work and crawl under the house with a heat gun to defrost the pipes.

Later that same day, I went to the store to exchange something and saw that they had put out their garden seeds. I was glad because I wanted to buy the only seed that we really need to purchase, which is for our cherry tomatoes. As some of my long time readers may recall, we were positively swimming in cherry tomatoes last summer, and they were the sweetest, tastiest cherry tomatoes that I had ever eaten. All the lucky recipients we gave them to thought so, also. So wouldn’t it be a treat to have them again this year? But since they are a hybrid, you have to buy the seed. Well, it appeared that the store was not carrying that specific variety this year, and when I looked online to order them, the seed company wants to charge me $6.95 shipping for one packet of seeds. Sigh.

Speaking of gardening, I've been thinking of ways to sneak in some exercise and get into better shape before the season starts. The winter time activities of keeping warm by the fire and holiday baking do not prepare one to toil in the field. I feel terribly unfit. It's quite a challenge to find ways to move outside of the usual housework/chore routine, especially since I am often bound to a desk at the library. I don't know how to remedy this.

The other day as I was getting my "work out" cleaning the bathroom, I entertained myself by recalling my first ever for-pay job. We must have been around eleven years of age when a friend and I were approached by a neighbor lady to clean her apartment. She and her husband had just had their first baby and I guess she was feeling a little overwhelmed. She wanted us to really clean out every dusty corner possible and help prepare her home for visitors. With dollar signs in our eyes, we accepted this one-time opportunity. We knew this lady casually, she was very nice, and we felt good about the chance to be useful and make our own money. It was a summer day, and when we arrived, she gave us choices about which rooms and chores we wanted to take on. All I can recall about dividing the work was that I felt cleaning the bathroom was a relatively good deal compared to my friend Darlene Weaver's selection of having to scrub baseboards. I don't remember what else we did, but I do know it was a full day's work. Also, we were entertained by a picture hanging in the family's living room of dogs playing poker. I know it's cliche now, but trust me, at the time it was the most hilarious thing ever.


The lady turned out to be a screaming tyrant, who made us do things over and over to her satisfaction, which was fine except she was not particularly nice about it. I can still recall her pointing at the bathroom floor and yelling at me "DO YOU NEED GLASSES?" I can't imagine we were incompetent house cleaners, but perhaps we were. All I know is, we worked really hard, put up with her, collected our money, and she never asked again (not that we would have said yes.)

The next day, we walked to a store and spent our earnings on frivolous things.

I'm certain I did not buy seeds.


  1. Wow......a screaming fit over the floors??? And what did she expect from 11 year olds anyway??? LOL I am sorry.

    Glad you got your seeds and didn't have to pay the awful shipping on it.

    I just finished your apron, and left you a message over on HSB.

    Talk to you soon!

    God's Blessings,
    Amy Jo

  2. Amy, we found her tirade mildly entertaining at the it's wildly funny! :D


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