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Hidden Traditions

July 16, 2007

When I was growing up, the days leading to Thanksgiving were especially hectic in our family. My Mom would often host a wonderful dinner, and with her family coming to celebrate with us, she wanted everything to be perfect. Not only did we dust and vacuum, but the walls were washed, the closets cleaned and organized, and even our old, cobweb-covered farmhouse basement was tidied up and the floor rinsed with bleach. The smell of disinfectants and cleansers mingled with the smell of roasting turkey, squash and Mom’s famous dressing. (Really, it’s the best dressing in the world – I’ll send you the recipe if you want it!)

I never quite understood why the basement and closets needed to be so clean, since our company would never see them. But Mom was insistent, and with all that food (did I mention dressing?) depending on her, nobody wanted to upset her too much!

Last week my dad pulled another one of his stunts, and Mom unexpectedly had the weekend off of work AND without the kids. Since this is as rare an event as the Bug sleeping through the night, we decided that she and Jim should come and visit us. I was especially excited because they’ve never seen the Bug in his “comfort zone” since we’ve always come to visit them instead. Now, for the first time ever, Mom could see how the Bug crawls and zips around in his constant search for trouble!

But I had to chuckle when I found myself in a flurry of activity, making sure my house would be clean enough for the important company that was coming. Not only did I vacuum and dust, but I cleaned out our bedroom closet and organized some of our storage stuff. And somehow, even though I knew Mom wasn’t likely to see any of that, cleaning it made perfect sense to me!

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