I really admire people who keep their house, shop, space of whatever kind, clean. I really do. Those people are my heroes. I wish I were more like them, but every time I think of cleaning my house I think: “Meh … what’s the point? It just gets dirty again.”

I like to think that part of my problem is that my house is old, so even when I clean it, it doesn’t really look clean because it’s so worn. Plus, it’s both little and full of the 20-plus years of accumulation from two people who are into more things than they have time for — along with books and movies. We put everything away, but the first time we take something out, the place looks unkempt again. AND we don’t have a porch, sidewalk or other non-dirt-grass-hay-gravel surface to walk on before coming in the front door, which opens directly into the living room.

I know all of those issues don’t help, but deep down I suspect that even if I had a big, beautiful, new house with a lovely tile walkway leading to front door and mud room where I can dump my cruddy shoes, I’d want a live-in maid because I’d be thinking: “Clean house? Meh … .”

So when a friend said to me about her own house yesterday: ” … not when I have a heap of dirty dishes sitting there, just one or two days’ worth … ,” I didn’t think anything of it. That line just jumped back into my consciousness today, though, and I could’ve cried over the simple, beautiful honesty of it. Of course, I laughed instead.

It has occurred to me that that comment is a good standard by which people can interact with me. If that is something you might say to me, feel free to drop by any time. If not, please call ahead, preferably making an appointment for later in the week.

I don’t love people less because they’re clean; it just makes for a more relaxing time together if they’re not worried about a stack of dirty dishes crashing off the counter, and if I’m not distracted by the crunchy sound of their feet shifting across the gravel on my floor.

If yer feet ain’t stickin’, the floor don’t need cleanin’ at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com