Friday, July 17, 2015

Addams Family Housekeeping

Do you remember in The Secret Garden when Mary goes exploring in the enormous old house and goes through whole wings of rooms that are closed off? There are lots of cobwebs and dust and mice and so on.

That's how the back part of our house is upstairs, on a smaller scale.

The front part of the upstairs is where our bedrooms are. Then there's a short hallway with a bathroom at the end. And just beyond the bathroom, there's a door leading to the former servants' part of the house. The door between the two parts stays closed all the time. There is no heat in the back part of the house at all--it's not even connected to the furnace heating system in any way--so we just don't use that part of the house.

There are three bedrooms back there, with a long hall leading to a back staircase. There are beds in two of the bedrooms, but mostly, that part of the house is unused except for storage.

Until summer.

Summer is when visitors arrive. Summer is when I have to clean the back part of the house at least enough so that people can, like, walk without falling over things or running headlong into cobwebs.

It's ugly back there. I begin with a broom to sweep away the masses of cobwebs. I shift boxes, piling them on top of each other so the hallway is mostly unobstructed. I clear away multiple pairs of boots and random detritus from the back stairs (why is there a racquetball racquet on those stairs when I haven't even played racquetball in over a decade?).

The end result is very, very far from immaculate. In fact, it probably looks much like a normal house might look before a cleaning. But then, this isn't a normal house. This is Blackrock, with 150 years of history and accumulated dirt. If you get a room without spiders, that's about all that can be hoped for.

And at least the food's good. That's what I tell myself, anyway.


Anonymous said...

This Mary never ventured back that way! And I have stayed there about a half dozen times. It is far too frightening! Mary in MN

Anonymous said...

Hey, a free roof over your head is worth a lot. And if you want to stay in a house with that much history, that's often how it comes. No reason to feel bad - all of us visitors are always getting a great deal!
And the food is awesome.
- moi

lindsey @ HerbandFlowerSoapCo said...

I swear our childhoods paralleled each others'. Little House books and the Secret Garden. Loved that book.

BTW - people spend good money to stay in drafty old houses. Mount that racquetball thing on a board, hang it, and call it ambiance. Done.