If you didn't already know, we are a homeschooling family -- which means that my house is messier than I would like, because we have to get to work on school, and when we finish school, I am often drained. We're regularly behind on laundry. We don't have a dishwasher in the house, so I do dishes three times a day. If I skip a time or two, there are a lot of dishes to catch up on. We moved less than a year ago, and my dining room is still full of boxes we haven't unpacked. We updated the living room, the laundry room, the guest room, the fire alarms, much of the electrical in the house, and put in a new furnace. Those boxes have moved in and out of three rooms while we fixed them. Our table is in the kitchen until the dining room is cleaned out and finished. Next week, our downstairs bathroom begins its transformation. It will have its walls removed and replaced. There will be tile on two walls. Clean, white tile. The water damage behind the tub will be repaired. It will get a new floor, and eventually, paint on the cabinet and the untiled walls. A working outlet. The upstairs bathroom will also be getting a new floor. And a section of fencing will be installed shortly.
But today, we will enjoy our first full 'day off' of the summer. We finished our curriculum last Friday. And we finished our testing yesterday. On my plate for the summer: that dining room; finally cleaning out and organizing my bedroom, which has been a depository for extra mattresses and boxsprings, books on makeshift shelves (until the completed bookshelves were installed in the living room), and various other junk that did not yet have a home. I did clean and organize two of the three kids' bedrooms, but you can no longer tell. We will tackle the closets. Eventually. Set up the dining room hutch we were given, and fill it. Find places for the games, and the craft supplies, and the pictures on the walls. There is more painting to do everywhere. Oh, and I need to teach my youngest to read. And of course, the laundry will continue to outstrip us, and the dishes will be constant, and the meals will always need making, and the plants will need watering, and I am not going to go through this summer without tracking in a lot of beach sand which will need sweeping and vacuuming. Half of the family will leave toys in their wake, and every one of us will leave a trail of books through the house. I'll be ordering new curriculum soon, and wondering where I will store the years not being used. And I have those fourteen curtains I have to make for the porch windows.
Some day it will feel like we can just do maintenance and enjoy it. In the meantime, we battle the mess and try to get ahead just long enough to get something lasting accomplished. And sometimes we will close the door on the house, and go appreciate the beauty God gives us for the short season that we have and not miss out on the memories we'll treasure longer than our clean toilets.