Saturday, November 13, 2010

Life Is Good: Fall Cleaning

Things are a little different when you live in a tiny house. When it is nice outside, you do outside things. After all, it is small inside, and it is big outside- even on my little plot of land. We really don't see much of the inside of the house in the summertime, and late summer harvest time is so busy that life moves at an extremely fast pace. When that is done, fall begins an we recognize the mess we have made of the house all summer, so rather than Spring Cleaning, we do Fall Cleaning.

We make a mess of the house for 2 or 3 months each year as we clean up the yard for Outside Season. All the summer projects result in parts from this and that finding their way into the corners of the house. Furniture gets rearranged to accommodate stuff rather than people. Things get thrown into storage quickly and without thought when there is threat of company that might want a sit-down dinner instead of a barbeque. Tools for house projects like hanging curtains and fixing broken walls are still in the house waiting to be returned to the shed. On the first chilly evening we bring in wood for the wood-stove and realize we do not have sufficient clearance around it to safely make a fire, nor can we get to the outlet to plug in the circulator fan. That is usually the signal that fall cleanup time is upon us.

There is no stopping the cycle of fall cleanup. I spend my weekends acquiring my first sinus infection of the year by reorganizing stuff into plastic bins rather than the dusty, mold-filled, crumbling cardboard boxes that previously held our precious treasures. Mr. Farmer reorganizes his Man Cave to put away his tools for the winter in such a way that he can still access them for unexpected projects. Young Master Farmer cuts, splits, stacks and hauls firewood for the house. Little Miss Farmer gathers kindling, dusts along side her mother, and goes through that box of clothes we put away for the season, AGAIN, and decides what she can and cannot wear through winter.  And we all vacuum the living room carpet in vain, over and over again, in hopes of keeping ahead of the dust, wood chips, and leaves from the wood-stove (as well as the dirt and mud tracked in by hard-working younger and older men).

Fall is a busy season. We harvest; we clean; we lay in food and supplies for winter. Bread-baking and soup-making begin for the cooler weather. The endless chore of firewood preparation kicks into full speed. Is it any wonder why I look forward to the quiet, do-nothing days of winter: sitting in front of the TV with a cup of tea and nothing to do but wonder if we'll be able to use the snow as an excuse to stay home from work tomorrow and make pancakes and bacon for breakfast?

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