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Spring cleaning

Saturday dawns with blustery winds and a cool disposition. It is inside-weather and inside the four walls of my home, is a sanctuary. 
It is my time and I'm in the mood to clean out cobwebs & cupboards, to tackle the old & the new.

Spring cleaning is therapeutic; it provides physical exercise and mental stimulation. It is so much more than brooms and mops; irons and washers; creases and dust.

My mother's hand grips the iron tightly, pushing down hard, veins thick and ridged and deep blue, fighting stubborn creases like I'm gonna get paid.
"Bony," my dad used to call her, lovingly; bursting into song: "I've got a girl named Bony Maronie, she's as thin as a stick of macaroni..."
I have her hands and feet, fingers and toes long and slim, refusing to allow fat to deposit there, sending it all to the bum and thighs.
A burst of steam whooshes out, hitting me in the face like a facial.
A slow smile wrinkles the corners of tired eyes as I iron out creases from tiny white hankies which have seen better days.

I rush to the kitchen to stack the dishwasher, saying hello to King, my early morning companion in a the quiet house. He makes that sound which says he's pleased to see me.
I am scared of dogs, always have been, and have a strange relationship with our German Shepherd. I am the person who speaks to him, coos to him and gives him treats.
But I cannot bring myself to stroke him. 
I use my voice to show him affection, using tones & words: "Morning, King!" 
There's a lilt  to my tone with him, and he comes to the gate.
"You having fun?" I ask and he responds, running to fetch a stick.
I start packing the dishwasher too, throw colours into the washing machine, and press start.
I like the drone of the two machines working together like an orchestra. It is music to my ears.
I am tackling my To-Do list on auto-pilot.

King drops the stick through the bars, and I throw it for him to fetch (he somehow understands my strangeness) runs and brings it back.
"Good boy!" 
He looks at me with wise eyes and I smile.
He is growing on me and he ticks off my fears like a pro, I'm sure he has a To-Do list of his own and are ticking off boxes on auto-pilot, disengaging my defenses.
I take out a treat and give it to him, he runs to his spot to enjoy; and I return to ironing, checking the pantry and the fridge on my way back making a mental note of it's contents.
Meal possibilities flash through my mind. I'm not in the mood to hit the shops on a long weekend in SA; the stores will be crowded, and I'm doing dirty this weekend, no primping/only pj's!
I decide on chicken burgers for Saturday dinner and Butter Beans curry with fragrant basmati rice for Sunday Lunch (served with mango atchar and a green chilli sambal). 

"Why do we have so many white T's?" 
I make a mental note to ask my boys when they surface out of dark bedrooms.
I run my hands lovingly over the warm white T-shirt, smoothing it out over the tick that tells me to "Just do it!"
Prompted by an icon, I switch off the iron, leave everything as is, and head to the bedroom stripping off dirty pj's.

The warmth of sleep on a hard body...there is no other feeling like that in the world. I nuzzle closer to him stealing warmth, leaning in with a whisper, my breath hitting his face like steam from a hot iron.

"Morning, baby..." 
He comes awake.
"Wanna have some fun?" I say it like I don't already know the answer. He responds quickly knowing this is gonna be quick as I'm on auto-pilot. 
He somehow understands this quirk, and I am grateful.
"Down, baby!" 
He looks at me with lazy eyes. I throw my head back and wait for take-off.

Heading back to the kitchen, I check on the dishes and the laundry and pour a glass of orange juice for him as a treat.
"For you," I say handing him the tall glass before returning to where the T's are still waiting to be ironed.
I power through my list, energized.
Iron whites: Check!
Tumble dry colours: Check!

My tummy grumbles and a craving for grilled cheese hits me.
"How does grilled cheese sandwiches sound!" I yell out to the house, already grabbing cheeses and bread.
He comes up from behind me, locks his arms around me, and says: "Sounds yummy, let me." 
I turn to him, spy my son in the doorway rubbing eyes: "Ew, get a room you two!"
He switches on the kettle: "Tea?" 
He already knows the answer and hurriedly grabs cups and plates and sets the table in 60 seconds. Speedy like his mom.
"You boys have fun," I say, "I'm hitting the shower."
They both nod.

I turn back to say something about white T's but the sight of them takes my breath away.
I scrap my old list and start a new one:
Happy family: Check!
Me-time: Check!
Wash White T's: Unchecked...

This piece of work is a figment of my imagination.
 I do however, have a dog and an iron. And  I have, on occasion, been known to clean house:)

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