desk. Big trouble. Worse than
washing windows, more difficult than
floor waxing, more time consuming
than cleaning the woodwork, would
be the task of uncovering this desk's
surface. For ages it has been layered
with envelopes, papers calendars
and things that I don't know where
else to put but, because of their sen-
timental value (wedding invitations) or
functional potential (colored chalk). I
cannot throw away. However, the time
had come. Not only had it come, but
it was going, too.
All of this thinking, planning and
decision-making had carried me
through to lunchtime, and if I was
going to get that desk cleared, I
needed energy. I toasted a bagel,
made some coffee and thought
about where I wanted to go on my
As I was finishing a second cup of
coffee, the mailman arrived, bringing
a letter from an old friend whom I
hadn't heard from for at least three
weeks. I decided to write back im-
mediately, before it skipped my mind.
A lot can happen in three weeks. At
2 p.m., as I was addressing the
envelope, my dog woke up and let
me know that it was time for a walk.
We took the long route. She needed
When we got back, it was 3 p.m.
I remembered that I hadn't yet
watered my plants. It had to be done
immediately. They were wilting by the
minute. All 32 of them. While I was
at it, I thought, I might as well plant
the geranium cutting, too.
It was 4:30 p.m. when I finished.
I was meeting a friend for dinner at
6. I really needed a nice hot bath and
some time to relax. After all, spring
cleaning takes a lot out of you. Thank
goodness it comes only once a
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