Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Last Month: Four Weeks of Nothing Punctuated by 36 Hours of House Cleaning

Company's coming? Crap, I've got to clean this joint! (Obviously this isn't me; he's wearing a tie.)
I'm not the kind of guy who can gin up enough enthusiasm about nothing to sit down and blog about it. And although I enjoy waking up to myself each and every morning, I'm not such a narcissist that I think anyone gives a rat's ass about my every-day life. Do you really want to hear about my day going to the gym, writing an AutoTrader piece, fixing lunch or dozing in my recliner? No, I didn't think so.

I have been anchored to Greenville the past several weeks. I haven't been anywhere in a month. My day-to-day activities the last 30 days have been restricted mostly to writing things for money or adding content to my Web site. Just because I make money – calling my writing “earning a living” wouldn't be even remotely accurate – writing, doesn't mean I want to do it 24/7. Consequently Clanging Bell has suffered.

While on my little sabbatical from traveling, I have built, installed and painted a new ramp for the shed. The original simply wasn't sturdy enough to withstand the elements and my sporadic walking on it. I also leveled the ground on which the ramp rests when deployed, installed a border around it and added some river rock. In the meantime, I haven't put a minute into the spare bedroom project in more than six weeks. I did order the small hand-held circular saw needed to proceed; so, I anticipate moving forward with that project beginning in July.

I did enjoy some overnight out-of-town company a week or so ago. Friends for more than 35 years, they are the folks who harbor me on my annual Louisville excursions. On their way to Florida for a business-related retreat, they broke up their trip with a brief stopover in Greenville. That's been the sum total of my excitement for the past month. I basically live the life of a shut-in.

My friends' visit did prompt me to spring into action for a 36-hour house-cleaning frenzy. My house isn't designed for entertaining. It's small. And, although the main floor is one large – well, smallish, actually, – space, there is a fireplace and chimney in its middle, breaking up traffic flow. People who knew me in Kentucky or Florida know I enjoy throwing a party for no particular reason. Can't do that in Greenville; I simply don't have the space for it. I tell you all of this as prologue to admitting, my house isn't always visitor ready.

For 355 to 360 days a year, it's just me and my damn cat rattling around in my 1,000 square feet. Although I'm a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place sort of guy, keeping the joint basically clutter free, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning toilets and the confluence of all the other little chores that equal a “clean” house aren't a weekly or even a monthly occurrence. Every once in a while I will notice the dust buildup on the top of the unit holding my flatscreen. That will usually motivate me to do a little dusting, which leads to running the electric broom over the floor. Otherwise, cleaning the kitchen counter once a day or so is about as active as I get in the cleaning department.

Two or three times a year someone does actually visit. These aren't drop-ins, but out-of-towners like my Louisville friends who announced their arrival somewhat in advance. Whether they stay for a night, a weekend or a week, I have to engage in the same amount of preparation. Because I clean so infrequently, I am really an amateur at it. There's no mental checklist. I don't have a “cleaning routine.” I simply glance around and think to myself, if I was a female-type person, what would gross me out? I then prioritize my targets by gross-out degree and get busy. Clean sheets on the guest bed: check. Clean sink and toilets in the bathrooms: check. Feet don't stick to the kitchen floor: check.

I spent more time cleaning my abode than my friends stayed in it. The good news, though, my house is good and clean for another four months or my next overnight guests, whichever comes first.

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