Thursday, September 27, 2012

Whining Gets You Everything!

I am an "enablee" (this is my new made-up word that best describes my special personality). There are enablers and enablees. I fall into the second category. I think of this as an important position, in that it provides enablers a way to practice their talent.

In my last post, I photographed some of the loot we have received, by way of care packages. (Let's keep those coming, friends!) Yesterday, my biggest fan, Tom, gave into my incessant whining about the house and hired a cleaning lady. (He hired her last week--she came yesterday for the first time.) Actually, I just whined and complained about the difficulty of keeping a house of this size and type clean--I did not ask for a maid--in fact, I told Tom it would make me feel guilty to have one. But Tom, in his goodness and wisdom, hired one anyway. Bless Tom!!!

As I stated above, Vera came yesterday. We wanted her to clean the floors and bathrooms only (I wasn't sure she could even finish that much in a day.) But, she proved to be a wonder-woman of tidiness, a defender of sanitary surfaces! Like the Tasmanian Devil, she tore through the house, armed with every cleaning implement and product known to man, scrubbing every surface to a brilliant shine! (At least she was brilliant in my eyes!) She was not to be thwarted, even when our cheap mop handle broke; she simply went to the neighbor's house and borrowed another one. She scoured toilets and sinks, mopped floors (til they were clean!), washed windows, polished wood, even scrubbed the patios! I love this woman!!

The resulting cleanliness left me feeling bright and happy; like another huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I was able to do laundry, concentrate on studying Portuguese, even enjoy the children! (Sadly, I haven't done the latter in quite some time.) I couldn't believe the difference it made!

Last night, Tessa helped me make dinner. We had chicken noodle soup (now it's freezing cold here--go figure!?) and baking powder biscuits. I taught her how to measure, how to "cut in" the shortening, and even let her pat out the dough and cut it into biscuits. I have never had this much patience with any of my children before--and Tessa is the child who most easily gets on my nerves! We had such a great time together, and Tessa just ate it up! She was so proud of her accomplishment--and the biscuits were delicious!

I took Keira with me to pick up Tom from work, and we were able to talk about her day. She told me all about how the other kids love her because she does funny things (making faces, doing silly dances, etc.) They love to hug and kiss her. (If you know Keira, you know she thrives on hugs and kisses!) She has a special friend, Nicholas, who gives her notes. (Sorry, Christian--you've been replaced in Keira's affections!) She really is quite funny, and I enjoyed our time together.

All in all, it was a fantastic day! Now, I know that all of my problems didn't go down the drain with the dirty mop water, but the relief I experienced makes me feel "enabled" to conquer some of those challenges with a little more energy, a little more confidence, a little more joy. ( I even ironed today--I NEVER iron!!!) And I am looking forward to spending more quality time with my family--without worrying about if they are wearing the appropriate shoes in the appropriate rooms (I can handle the upkeep from week to week).

And so, the moral of this story is...I need a cleaning lady when we get home! ---Tom--are you reading this?!


  1. You won't need a cleaning lady when you get home and have all of your modern conveniences again. You'll wonder what to do with all of your spare time so you can come do some of my yard work.

  2. I think when you come back we need to write a book together about sabbatical survival in foreign countries with a family!! We would have a BESTSELLER between your whining and mine :-) Just the other night we all shared what we missed about Israel--there were many different answers; beach, food,etc but my answer was Shula (my cleaning lady)~!!!!! Miss you Kathy!!!