“Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.” Erma Bombeck, American humorist
“I love you all,” I said to my mom and the daughters, reaching my hands out toward them over a celebratory pizza lunch.
A mix of holiday and bitter cold had left all but my husband at home. The “celebratory” was about the “spring” cleaning we had been doing the entire morning. It was bliss. Murphy’s Oil. Freshly mopped wooden floors. Camaraderie. “It’s just a hygge kind of day,” I sighed, moved almost to tears.
“More like a ‘hookah’ kind of day,” said one eye-rolling daughter. She was trying to dampen my soap-scented enthusiasm by making a things-that-can-be-smoked rhyming twist on the Danish art of all things cozy. (“Hygge” is pronounced “hoo-guh.”)
I ignored her. She was only salty because, in the spirit of getting the cleaning done in a timely manner, I had gathered everyone’s cell phones before the sun rose and tucked them safely away until we were done.
“You realize, don’t you, that you could have just called yourselves and tracked the sound if you really wanted to find your phones?” I pointed out with a smile, reminding them we still have a land line. More eye rolling.
I expected them to bolt at this point, but they didn’t. We lingered there, eating pizza and feeling clean. Maybe it was the bright sun dancing on the snow outside and through our wavy-glass windows, making literal rainbows on the walls, but we suddenly wanted to feel even cleaner. Clean in a spicy, citrusy kind of way.
Some mandarins and a box of cloves came out and we went to work. Together.
A hooyah! kind of day if I’ve ever seen one.