We have a bit of a dust problem in my house.
In fact, we have had this same problem before in the previous house.
A project gets started, conversation happens about precautions, and then the dust settles.
It settles on the carpets- but you cannot see it much, so it must not be there.
It settles on the railing- but that’s only the first floor, no way it made it to the bedrooms on the second.
It settles on the rail of the baby’s crib- but of course it didn’t and that cloth filled with dust is not proof at all that the dust made it to the exact place you didn’t want it to be.
Then the cleaning happens. You do the best you can. Sometimes choice words are muttered while it happens. You end with conversations about “never again” and “next time I’ll tape off better.”
Then next time happens.
A project gets started, conversation happens about “remember last time, what will you do to prepare?” Reassurances provided, work begins, and then the dust settles.
It settles on the carpet, those white footprints are proof that you didn’t wipe before leaving. But no worries- that’s dust from INSIDE the room. The door was closed- it’s not anywhere else.
It settles on the basement steps. You know it’s there when your 4 year old calls you out (unprompted!) but, that’s right by the door and we had to go up and down to get to the pipes. It’s fine.
“You’re right, it’s a bit better. Thank goodness!”
“Want to check out the progress?”
The door opens and that’s when you see it- the dust that is settled throughout the entire bedroom that no, was not completely emptied prior to work beginning.
“You didn’t say that, but I did tape the doorway.”
So there it is folks- thick, thick, layers of dust settled over knickknacks, pictures, clothing, furniture, bedding, important documents, the list goes on.
Then the cleaning happens. You do the best you can. It takes longer this time- the bedroom wasn’t “clean” to begin with- lots of things around. You wash the clothes. You wipe the furniture. You unearth the odds and ends. Some choice words are muttered. You end with conversations about “don’t worry, it helped us purge!” And you keep cleaning because it still is settling in as the project continues.
Next time- we will get it right next time (after this project is finished, hopefully).
I really loved the structure of this piece-the way you repeated the phrase, “It settles…” and then there was a break and the repetition again. It really gave me a sense of the ongoing problem! Here’s to next time!
Dust, like nature, finds a way. Here’s hoping the finished projects continue proving worth the in-progress trouble.
I love the imagery that goes along with all the places that dust settles, as well as all the rationalization you describe. The repetition, highlighting this pattern, is beautiful.