family life, women

When C+ is enough

“Rest and be thankful.” William Wordsworth, British poet 

Once, when I was just old enough to read but not old enough to do much of anything else, I loved poring over household hints in magazines.

The kitchen violets are so very pretty. Sunlight reveals my terrarium-cleaning skills are C+ at best. So it goes.

Now, such advice is the currency of Pinterest and more blogs than could possibly be read in a lifetime. Then, if you wanted to know the “best” way to slice an onion or fold a fitted sheet, you had to find someone who knew such secrets. Or, read about them in a “womens” magazine, many of which paid readers for such tips.

On sleepy Saturday mornings, I would rest in bed, trying to think up a tip good enough to weasel my way into one of these publications. Being 8 or 9 or 10, I had none. Not that it stopped me from trying. I mailed off several, no doubt to the amusement of whoever opened my handwritten letters.

Why household tips? I have no idea, but to this day, home life is one thing that gets my A+ effort. In a way, at least.

I will spend hours keeping the house tidy and pretty. A+ effort all the way. My closet could literally be photographed for publication. It is small, but it is arranged in chocolate-box splendor. There is even art tucked here and there.

Our shower tile will never be photographed, however. Grout cleaning gets only grudging minutes of my time. A seldom-opened cabinet in the kitchen is tidied only once a year, in spite of prevailing air currents that sail dog hair under its door. I have only vacuumed the refrigerator’s coils once in the last decade.

Why the difference? Why beauty but not universal deep-down clean? It goes back to the same magazines.

Once, when I was just old enough to read but not old enough to do much of anything else, I came across the Best Tip Ever. “Not everything in life warrants your A+ work. Sometimes a B or even a C+ will do. Learn to recognize the difference.”

Sometimes a C+ will do. The woman who wrote that probably got paid, but not nearly enough.

36 thoughts on “When C+ is enough”

    1. I love them both!! Isn’t kitchen plaque wisdom the best? We have a wrought iron one in the kitchen that reads, “Bless this house O Lord we pray. Make it safe by night and day.” I also put a Jan Karon quote on the stove hood in magnetized Scrabble tiles: “Go out there and be as happy as a bird with a french fry.” 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think ours may be from the late 1800s since I know it pre-dates a grandma born at the turn of the century. Do you have any idea when your plaque came from? That’s so cool that a twin is in Australia!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I just found out ours isn’t nearly as old as I thought. It showed up in the family in the 1950s. Love it regardless of origin. Have a blessed weekend!


  1. I love this post! Being a writer means a I tend to keep specific areas of the house clean-kitchen, bathrooms, and floors pretty clean, the rest gets done when I have extra time do mess wit it. I’m going nuts right now being on crutches and unable to do much, but my sink is clean, by God! PS: I am a Pinterest addict too, those tips you used to read in magazines (me too) have a place on my Pinterest board under Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Books. Enjoy some if you get a chance!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Depends what is important, like cooking. Many people on disability can’t afford to eat out or hire someone, so we wouldteach them labor saving tricks with cooking. Now I’m using them 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Mothers in law do tho. My first used to come over and tell off my foster daughter for not cleaning properly such as under the saucepan. She didn’t dare tell me off but I saw her looking!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I came across an ad in the paper that showed a couple standing in the doorway of their kitchen with nauseated looks on their faces. The heading said something like, “When looking at your kitchen makes you lose your appetite, it’s time to remodel.” It looked not unlike OUR kitchen…
        We remodeled that year.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. What do they call the person who got all C’s in Med School? They call them doctor. Getting A’s is exhausting and often unnecessary. We need to go easier on ourselves. Thanks for this reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

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