Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 5, 2013

09/08/2013 — Lee Ward: The beginning of a beautiful, clean friendship

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — For years, I wanted to hire someone to help me clean house. Or just clean it for me while I get a massage or pedicure.

Not every week. Not even once a month. I just wanted someone to help me give it a good once over once a year. Or maybe just once. Maybe if I get it all clean just once, I’ll be inspired to keep it clean all year long.

We all have our fantasies.

It wasn’t until I had a goal that I got on the stick and hired someone to clean.

The goal: to have my house clean for a visit from my half sister.

I grew up an only child and found this and one other sister after learning I was adopted. I was blessed, not only to have been able to find them, but to find them to be good people who welcomed me into their family.

This summer, my sister who lives in Florida wanted to stop by and spend a night with me on her way home from visiting the other sister, the one who lives on the other side of West Virginia. I was happy to have her. I will admit, though, I was worried about her visit. I had been to her house — her finely appointed home on a canal in an upscale neighborhood — but she had never been to mine.

Not only is my house a far cry from being finely appointed, it is not in an upscale neighborhood. There was nothing I could do about those things, but I could tidy up, I thought.

It was a struggle, enticing myself to clean house after a long day a work or in the sun by the pool. I also had business to take care of out of town this summer, which cuts into house-cleaning time.

The ultimate truth here is I hate cleaning house, no matter how much of it there is to do or how badly it needs to be done.

However, I really didn’t want my sister to think I live in a pig sty, so I made arrangements to have someone clean house. As it is with most women, I felt bad about the cleaning lady seeing my house so dirty, so I got started cleaning the house myself — the walls, the baseboards, the door frames. In addition, our arrangements didn’t work out as planned, so time for having someone clean for me grew shorter and shorter, until one evening, just a couple of days before my sister arrived, I scored some help for an evening.

I had already cleaned my bedroom, the bath and the kitchen. I set her loose on the guest room (usually occupied by my male dog, so you can imagine how much work it required), the hall, the dining room and living room. She made the place sparkle. I wished she had done all the work, not as much because I’m lazy as because she did such a great job at it. She’s one of those people who loves to clean house. I can tell by the way she works — quickly and thoroughly. She takes pride in her work, too, and enjoys seeing the fruits of her labor.

I hope this will be the beginning of a beautiful, yearly house-cleaning rendezvous with this woman who loves to clean. Next time, though, I’m going to let her do it all.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.