December 14, 2012

Maid of the Manor…

Category: News — Ira @ 6:02 pm

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Some men have a den in their home, while
others just growl all over the house.

—Author Unknown
_________________

It kept pushing in on my mind back about a year ago. As I’d done for the previous, oh, four years or so, I tried to push it back. Ignore the thought. But it kept lurking there, on the fringes. And I finally just gave in and accepted the fact. OK, something would have to be done. I had no idea where to turn, but somehow, something or someone had better show up. It was time to get my house cleaned.

I live in an old house. Two story, brick. The upstairs is a separate apartment that has sat empty now for going on almost two years. I’ve had such vile luck with tenants that when the last guy left (he was the best of the lot, quiet, and always paid the rent on time), I decided not to actively solicit another one. I’d be silent and let the Lord bring somebody to me. Well, the Lord’s been pretty silent, too, about the matter. So the upstairs remains empty. In the meantime, I’ve gotten used to not having someone clumping about right above my head. It’s peaceful, that’s what it is. But that rent money sure would be nice. You can’t have it both ways, is what I’ve decided. And I’ll keep it this way until a better way shows up.

So I live downstairs, and I like my house. Sure, it’s old. Built sometime during the first Great Depression, near as I can tell from the deed. When all that crap hit the fan back in 2007, people told me. “Why don’t you get out of that house? It’s got tons of bad vibes. Bad memories. Just bad stuff overall. Sell it, and start over in a new place.” And I said no. I won’t be pushed out of my home. I won’t. I like it here. Maybe I was just exhausted. I don’t know. Anyway, I stayed. And, in one of the most amicable, attorney-free separations in history when it came to the actual divorce proceedings, I had the place appraised in 2009. Refinanced it, and bought out Ellen’s half. And now it’s my home, in my name. I like it here.

I’m probably about like 95% of guys out there who live alone, when it comes to keeping my living space clean. I don’t worry about it much. I mean, how many guys get down on their hands and knees and scrub the floor? None that I know of. And it’s not like it’s filthy dirty or anything, anyway. I vacuum, sweep the floors, chase down and capture all visible dust bunnies. Keep the sink halfway presentable, and so forth. Even scrub the bathroom, now and then. The place isn’t dirty, it’s just cluttered.

And it’s not like the rooms are a wreck, either. I pile stuff up right where it lands, mostly. And by stuff, I mean odds and ends of just about anything. Hiking gear. Shoes and boots. Jackets and hoodies. Ropes, backpacks, a decent assortment of knives, ammo, shooting gear, flashlights, camo duct tape, boxes of supplies, guy stuff. And the living room, where I write, it’s pretty much a man cave. Sheathed fantasy swords hang from two pillars. It’s comfortable, with loose stacks of books strewn haphazardly about. On the couch and on the floor and on my desk. Books of every type and flavor, plus a case or two of the one I wrote. And a couple of copies of every edition.

But I know where everything is when I need it. That’s the big thing, the important thing. It’s pretty much a lackadaisical system, but it works for me. I’ve always figured, it’s my house. When it comes right down to it, who else’s business is it, anyway? Yeah. No one’s.

But, because of the clutter, I’ve been shy almost to the point of paranoia about letting just anyone walk into my home. Only a few trusted people have unlimited access. My brother Steve pops in sometimes when he’s passing by anyway, to watch whatever game’s on. My close friend Paul Zook, too, wanders in randomly. As does my ex-brother-in-law, Paul Yutzy, when he’s passing through. None of them have ever so much as blinked an eye at the way the place looked. Which is why they’re always welcome. For most others, it’s simply not worth the energy of trying to make up excuses. So I don’t, by not letting them in.

And it’s not like the offers haven’t been made, to clean my house. Mostly from my Amish friends. “Oh, come now,” the women said soothingly. “It can’t be that bad. Let us come over and clean it for you. We’ll be happy to do that.” It’s a trick, I told them. You just want to come in and snoop. And go talk about what you saw. I’m on to your plot. Nope. Thanks, but nope. I’m good. I’ll get someone in to clean eventually. Some person that doesn’t know me, and won’t care how the house looks. Don’t you all fret about it. And no, I’m not paranoid or anything. And they looked very crestfallen, each time. In time, though, they gave up and quit nagging me.

Sadly, a cleaning lady will not just show up on her own. And the years passed, and my house had not been deep-cleaned since Ellen left, back in 2007. Then, late last year, I grumbled about it all at work. To no one in particular. Just talking. Surely there has to be someone out there, some nice Amish or Plain Mennonite girl, that I could hire to clean my house. And my coworker, Dave Hurst, heard me grumbling and spoke up. His wife, Ruth, had hired a Plain Mennonite girl to help around the house. Katie was her name, Dave said. She just got married. She works really hard for ten bucks an hour.

That sounded too good to be real. I nibbled at the bait. Ask your wife to ask Katie, I told Dave. I’ll pay her whatever she asks. See if it could work out. And a few days later, Dave told me, beaming. Katie had agreed. She would come and clean. Three hours at a stretch. And since she was a horse and buggy Mennonite and had no transportation, Ruth would drop her off and pick her up on Tuesday. And I was excited. This was what I was talking about. Some nice girl who didn’t know me from Adam. Who would just come in, do her job, and go on about her way.

And so it was that a few days later, I drove home over lunch to meet Ruth and Katie at my house. She was a beautiful young lady with a lovely smile, in patterned flowery dress and plain white head covering. “Yes,” she said. “I’ll scrub the kitchen floor by hand. Clean the counters and the sink and the bathroom. What all else did you have in mind?” And I showed her about my small house. This and this. Dust these things, if you get time. And I told her sternly. Whatever you see here stays with you. Don’t go talking about it. She smiled demurely. Of course she wouldn’t. I asked her then. How much do you want? How much an hour, to clean?

And she almost couldn’t face me. Dave had told me she worked for $10 an hour, which is nothing. Still, she piped up bravely. “Would $15 an hour be too much?” It was probably more than she’d ever asked for, from anyone else. I laughed. Of course it’s not too much, I said. I’ll gladly pay that. She smiled, relieved. I showed her where everything was, my cleaning supplies and such. And then I headed back to work.

That night, after the gym, I eagerly headed home. What would it be like, a clean house? I unlocked the door and stepped in. Lemon scent overwhelmed the place. The scent of clean. I walked through the kitchen, gaping. Everything was spotless. The floor, mainly. Scrubbed thoroughly by hand. But the sink, too, the counter and the kitchen cabinets. All of it glistened with clean. Clean, clean, clean. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. I just stood there and drank it all in. Heck, with a place like this, I could invite company if I were of a mind to. With head held high.

That first day we met at the house was the only time I ever saw Katie. We talked, now and then, when she called me with a question as she was cleaning. She came every three or four weeks, right along, always on a Tuesday. I left her check on the kitchen table, for three hours’ worth of work. Once, my cell phone rang when she was cleaning. How much would I charge her for a copy of my book? One of those copies just strewn about the house? Take it, I told her. You can have it. “Oh, are you sure?” she asked. “I’ll pay you for it.” Nope, I said. Take it. Gotta keep the maid happy. She laughed and thanked me.

And it was a beautiful thing, over the winter, right into spring. Leave a check on the kitchen table on a Tuesday morning once a month, and the house is magically clean that night. I loved walking in after she’d been there, knowing I’d smell that clean lemon scent. It was just a beautiful thing.

And it was all too beautiful to last, of course. Sometime early last summer, Katie quit coming. She and her husband were expecting their first child. She just didn’t have the time or energy to clean my house anymore. I understood, of course. But still, it was a sad day for me, when I heard that. It was the perfect setup. And now, poof, it was just gone.

And I settled back in to the way it was, before Katie ever showed up. All through the summer. Sure, I swept and vacuumed, and kept the place half decent. But the clutter, which Katie had pushed back, encroached again. All through the house. Stuff just stacked and piled haphazardly here and there. I was comfortable with it, as before. Still shy, though, of letting just anyone in. And I kept thinking, this time I can’t wait four years, to find another cleaner. I’ve got to get someone in, sometime soon. But nothing will happen until you make it happen.

The summer passed. And the fall. The kitchen floor was getting, well, in need of a good scrubbing. I grumbled at work. This time, my coworker Dave had no suggestions. A while back, he beamed and told me Katie had her baby. A little girl. Born healthy. She and her husband are doing well, moving right along. Still, she won’t clean anymore, for extra money. She can’t, now that the baby’s here. I was glad for her, for them. Still, that doesn’t do anything for my kitchen floor.

And it all seemed destined for another long stretch of frustration. This time, though, I didn’t sit around and wait as long. This time, I asked my Amish neighbors, the ones just down the road. Do they know of anyone who cleans houses? I had in mind they might guide me to some Amish spinster who does this sort of thing for a living. But no. They smiled. Yes, they knew of someone. A lady, just down the road from my house. An English lady, well, a Mennonite. But an English Mennonite. She cleans. Go see her. And I drove straight from my Amish friends’ house to the English Mennonite lady’s home. A farm. How in the world does a woman who lives on a farm have time to clean houses? I wondered.

The English Mennonite lady, Anne, met me at the door. Looked at me suspiciously. Uh, I was told you clean houses, I stammered. “Who told you that?” She asked. The Millers, just around the corner there, I said, trying to look as lost and helpless as possible. Their kids mow my lawn. I had a Plain Mennonite lady cleaning my house earlier this year, but she quit because she just had her first baby. I’m your neighbor, half a mile away. And Anne seemed open to the idea. “I don’t have time for any new jobs,” she said. “But you are so close, I just might have to take it. I’ll probably cost more than your last cleaner did, though.” Yes, yes, I know that, I said. That’s fine. Here’s my cell number. Call me and stop by to check it out. I’m totally flexible. She smiled and promised she would.

She didn’t call. Not that first week. Or the second. The third week, after I’d given up, my cell phone rang one day. Unknown number. I answered. It was Anne. She wanted to stop by one evening and check out my house. It’s great to hear from you, I said. I’d almost given up. We settled on a date and time.

And she came, the other Saturday evening. I showed her about the house. It’s important to me that you keep my privacy, I said. What you see here stays here. She smiled and politely told me that’s her policy for all her cleaning jobs. “I can de-clutter your house,” she said helpfully as we were winding down. Declutter. Is that even a word? Do it all you want, decluttering in the kitchen, I answered. Don’t worry about the storage room, there. And don’t worry about the living room. That’s where I write. I don’t mind clutter. I just want the place to be clean, clutter or no clutter. “OK,” she said. “I’ll text you when I can make it over. It’ll be before Christmas.”

A little more than a week later, on a Monday morning, I left my front door unlocked. Anne would come that morning, so I figured it was safe. On the kitchen table, I left a check. And a house key, for her to keep. And a signed copy of my book. Might as well get that out of the way, before she sees all those copies strewn about and thinks to ask how much I want for one. Gotta keep the maid happy. Preemptively, I figured.

That night, when I got home and walked into the house, the blasting smell of clean greeted me. Fresh. Scented. Lemony. All was as it should be. Everything was spotless and shining. The floor was scrubbed. The kitchen sink sparkled. The bathroom gleamed. And the kitchen was about half decluttered. More of that will come, I think. Decluttering. And I’m totally cool with that. I think we’re good, here.
***************************************
And it’s almost Christmas again. I’m usually a Bah Humbug kind of guy, but this year I actually feel some strange odd little prickings inside. Must be the Christmas spirit. I never get carried away much, with gift giving and all. Expect none and give few, that’s my motto. And I’m pretty content with that.

Every season, though, I think back fleetingly to those days in Bloomfield, the first few years we lived there. How it was, after I turned 16, and started running with the small youth group. Bloomfield was just a baby of a settlement back then, with around two dozen families, give or take a few either way. All that would change in the next few years as the community grew, but those first few years were special, well, just because they are.

I remember the biting cold on a moonlit December evening after the chores were done, how sometimes we struggled through deep snow up the steep hill off to the west side of the lane between our home and Joseph’s house, dragging our sleds. And how we rode them down the hill at high speed, how we howled and whooped and hollered. And got up to do it all over again. And again. I remember how still and bright and cold the land was. Silent, except for our voices. And how we walked, exhausted and exhilarated, toward the glowing windows of the warm house, where Mom was bustling in the kitchen over the hot stove, fixing supper.

Those first winters in Bloomfield were bitterly, bitterly cold. And the youth, with all the exuberance that only youth can know, went caroling every Christmas around the community. The steel-rimmed buggy wheels squealing through the packed snow, we’d clatter from one house to the next. Stand outside the front door in a tight little huddled group, and sing. Christmas carols. All about the community we trundled, stopping at most Amish places and even some English ones. And I remember that close feeling of belonging, the sheer joy of just being out and about with good friends. We sang and sang, our breaths steaming in the frigid air, and sang some more. Always wrapping up with We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

And sometimes we were invited into the homes for steaming hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies. We ate and drank and chattered and laughed and then walked back out into the cold and headed to the next place. Until we reached the last house, and sang there. Then took off through the cold white winter night to our warm homes and beds.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like that. And I wonder if I could sing like that again, standing outside in the bitter cold of a December night. If such a thing, such innocent joy, would even be possible. I don’t know. It’s tough to recapture the essence of such things, once you let them go. That’s just how it is. In the meantime, though, I can let the memories speak my heart.

Merry Christmas to all my readers.

***********************************
Postnote: A few words about the unspeakably senseless tragedy in Newtown, CT, today. I’m not a parent, and in such moments as these, I’m glad sometimes I’m not. It’s simply incomprehensible to see and absorb the aftermath of such evil. There will be intense mourning for a long, long time, for those families that lost a little child. We can only mourn with them from a distance.

From my perspective, from my world view, a host of observations come to mind about cause and effect, about the desperate wickedness that lurks inside the human heart. But right now, I think, it’s probably wise not to say a whole lot more. Soon enough there will be a time to speak. At this moment, I want to respect in silence those who grieve a loss I cannot fathom.

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(25 Comments) »

  1. And a Merry Chritmas to you as well, Ira. A great read, as always.

    Comment by Ben Glick — December 14, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  2. Your postnote is really well put… “respect in silence those who grieve a loss I cannot fathom.” Amen. There is not much else to say.

    Saloma

    Comment by Saloma Furlong — December 14, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  3. I have to admit I haven’t the heart to read the rest of your post tonight. I scrolled down to see if you had anything to say about the shooting in CT. “We can only mourn with them from a distance.” That says it all. I’ll read the rest of your post on a happier day.

    Comment by cynthia r chase — December 14, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

  4. I think silent respect is a good thing. Weep with those who Weep.(This is copied) I keep this glued in the back of my well read Bible. (Quote) Chuck Swindoll in his book Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns, tells about “a little girl who lost a playmate in death and one day reported to her family that she had gone to comfort the sorrowing mother. “What did you say?” asked her father. “Nothing,” she replied. “I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her” Rare is the friend who knows how to weep with those who weep.

    Comment by Carol Ellmore — December 14, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

  5. Ahhh my dear friend…a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well! I remember those days, when Christmas carols were sung, outside our door and we would invite the young Amish youth in and dad would go get the crate of pepsi from the store. The “good” pepsi the ones in the 10oz glass bottle. We would visit, say our thank yous and call it a night. I remember this as if it were yesterday and how I sometimes yearn, deep in my soul for those days to return. Good times my friend, very good times. I’ll never forget your hockey games, especially the battle scar you received that one winter afternoon. Take care my dear friend.

    Comment by Chuckie Leonard — December 14, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  6. May the spirit of Christmas and the fond memories of your youth be a guiding light to the future.

    Comment by Ben Girod — December 15, 2012 @ 1:07 am

  7. This writing is so sweet and so juicy I must read it again in order to experience its full, succulent flavor. Heaven above Mr. Wagler, you’ve got the gift.

    Comment by Francine — December 15, 2012 @ 4:13 am

  8. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from one of your faithful blog readers who is waiting on that second book…Well written post, as usual. Very appropriate comments at the end as well. Keep writing…

    Comment by Janet Martin — December 15, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  9. It seems the last few years, that these tragic things occur around Christmas. I do not have the “spirit” this year: too many people i know have died this year….some by violent means to themselves. I believe in the evil lurking out there…unseen, but active….prowling around seeking whom he may devour.

    On the other hand, your memories of youthful sledding did bring back my own farm kid memories of sledding down our steep mountain of a hill….Take care

    Comment by Maggie Newman — December 15, 2012 @ 7:05 am

  10. Enjoyed this post. My first Christmas here, in MI, was pretty lonely and I was incredibly homesick for ND. It was a little before 9pm and I heard singing coming from outside my home. When I opened my front door there were 12-15 Amish folk singing in harmony, all bundled up. Some holding babies. Most with headlamps. I could not believe my new neighbors thought enough of me to come caroling at my home and I was honored. I cried. I’m a woman and that’s what I do.

    I then began to read just about everything about the Amish. It was that Christmas when I received your book from my husband. We didn’t have a whole lot of money then and that was my only present. About a year later I told one of the Amish couples of how lonely I was that night, being so far away from my friends and family and hearing them caroling was like an answered prayer, a comforting gesture from God.

    Comment by Sandra Meyer — December 15, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  11. Declutter has to be a word…I’ve bought enough books on the subject to have them become part of the problem :)

    I also remember wintry nights, being outside and the exhilaration and wonder of it all. Your description underscored what I had said earlier in the day to someone…that I wish we could go back to a time more innocent, a time of family togetherness and not this time of racing around to find designer name gifts for mere children. Back then,, we had so little that every gift was much appreciated. I have been stunned by the excess that is common now, even at elaborate “theme” parties for one year olds. Sometimes being so (comparatively) financially blessed seems a curse.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog entry. I hope your Christmas is just as you want it.

    Comment by Carol — December 15, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  12. May we all take a moment in our busy holiday schedules to just pause and be still……

    It amazes me how easily we can make ourselves so busy we fail to fully appreciate the blessings we have.

    Thank you for continuing to share your gift of writing. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

    Comment by Smucker — December 15, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

  13. A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year to you Mr. Wagler. As usual I thoroughly enjoyed your blog.
    Yes, to grieve from a distance for the parents of those little children that lost their life. It is so sad, there is so much evil in the world, I’m looking for Jesus to take me home.
    God Bless & keep writing.

    Comment by Linda Morris — December 15, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

  14. Yes, succulent indeed! What a treat, what a delight to read your stories. You shared your Christmas motto regarding gifts, “Expect none, and give few…” Think again dear Sir. You give many gifts to your readers and I just read a gem. I would definitely say you are a generous gift giver.

    “Maid of the Manor.” Has an Old English flair to it. I like it. Gosh, I wish I had a maid. In all honesty, I don’t mind cleaning. It’s the fact that I have to do it more than once that kills me. But the thing I dislike more than cleaning is clutter. My mind gets all jumbled up and I feel uneasy. Having to move 10 things to get to the one thing I’m looking for drives me insane. And its gotten out of hand when I know I have something that I need, but I can’t find it. Goodwill, here I come!

    “It’s tough to recapture the essence of such things, once you let them go.” “In the meantime, though, I can let the memories speak my heart.” You know, Ira,
    I wonder if it’s the memories that keep us from letting go. And as far as innocent joy goes, I hear it’s one of God’s specialties.

    Have a wonderful, happy and merry Christmas my friend!

    Comment by Francine — December 16, 2012 @ 3:11 am

  15. We still go caroling here in Michigan. Last week, though, it was cancelled because it was raining! I didn’t get the message, and I showed up on time. We were to meet at the parsonage. They invited me in, & we ended up singing our own carols around the kitchen table. The harmony was great. They had 2 guitars and a ukulele! We shared stories of cars breaking down on past caroling adventures and getting stuck in the snow. Merry Christmas, Ira

    Comment by Dee Dee — December 16, 2012 @ 4:31 am

  16. You wrote “I never get carried away much with gift giving…Expect none and give few…” I venture to say that you are a very generous gift giver. And as one of your readers I would like to say, “Oh Ira, I love it. Thank you so much for the gift!”

    “Maid of the Manor” has a distinct Old English flair to it. I like it. When you were describing the pre-condition of your unkempt home my fingers started to itch. Not because I feared there were insects, mice, and other undesirables lurking about, but because I wanted to clean it. I’m afraid the nesting instinct in some women carries over to other peoples’ nests. Just the way it is.

    I noticed you were going back and forth on the issue of clutter. “To be or not to be.” Here’s an idea-have the Maid of the Manor declutter (she can toss things in boxes and get them out of sight) and pay attention to how you feel. You may say now, before it’s done, that clutter doesn’t bother you, but just try it. Consider how your desk looks at work. Is it orderly? If so, why? To keep your mind focused, uncluttered, organized?

    “It’s tough to recapture the essence of such things, once you let them go.” Ira, we never let them go. Our memories won’t allow it.

    Comment by Francine — December 16, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  17. Oh my! When I viewed the comments mine didn’t show up from last night so I sent another this morning. I’m sorry, Ira. Didn’t mean to add extra clutter. Gotta go! The preacher calls.

    Comment by Francine — December 16, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  18. Ira, I thoroughly enjoy your writings and also enjoyed reading your book. May our Lord bless you throughout this wonderful Christmas season and into the New Year, 2013! Jane

    Comment by Jane M Goforth — December 16, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  19. Ira, you keep your house like I do. It’s cluttered but I can find things easily. I can’t stand dirty dishes in the sink, though.

    Your memories of sledding and caroling brought back my own. Those were happy times. No one can take our memories away.

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Comment by Lyndon — December 16, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  20. Ira, this was an enjoyable read, as always. This Christmas will be frugal at my house, as I lost my job. So, what better way to remember what Christmas is really about– the coming of our Lord. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

    Comment by Beverly — December 16, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

  21. Christmas caroling here in Lancaster County 50-years ago was quite a great time when I was a child. We use to put straw bales in a large flat bed truck with stake sides and go out singing in the local towns for 4-5 hours, sometime more than once. I don’t think churches do that anymore, at least ours don’t and I know I have not heard any singers lately. I want to wish you a Merry CHRISTmas and all the other readers too. JESUS is the answer to all the challenges facing our world.

    Comment by Warren — December 18, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  22. I wonder how much Anne would charge to come to Europe and clean??? I’m just not interested in doing it myself, somehow! ha

    Comment by ann — December 19, 2012 @ 5:27 am

  23. I, too, thoroughly enjoyed this blog entry. I think the story about the need to have your house cleaned and then the aftermath, the wonderful lemon scent and standing there looking and admiring the housekeeper’s work, was what I enjoyed the most. I remember when I had a housekeeper and how thrilled I was the days she came. I, like you, can’t declutter well, but admire those who can clean and make a house feel so clean. And thank you for the simple remarks about the shootings….no words can express any of the pain we all feel. Merry Christmas Ira and God Bless you!!!

    Comment by Pam — December 19, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

  24. This is the first time I read your blog, don’t know where my head was as we’ve been friends on FB for a while. I really enjoyed it. Honestly I kind of chuckled through most of it as my husband and I are both disabled and housekeeping is difficult at best. We, like you need to find someone willing to keep our privacy and clean our home. We too love the scent of a freshly scrubbed home. It inspires us to try to keep the clutter down for a while. We laugh as if there’s a flat spot as we call it, it usually has a pile on it till we make a concentrated effort to unstack. Yes, I do believe declutter might be an actual word.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts and your words about the school shooting were perfect. Blessings and it sounds like you had a Merry Christmas, Susan Fryman

    Comment by Susan Fryman — December 26, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  25. I love this! It’s one thing to be a male bachelor and want a cleaning lady but another to be a capable woman who only works part-time and want a cleaning lady. It’s a secret I tell very few people because even though it’s our business, people don’t see the sense in it.

    The last one I had was $60 and was here about an hour and a half and the house looked semi-clean but never had that wonderful smell to it. I finally decided to get someone new that my mother-in-law uses. I pay her more but she works like a machine and this place looks and smells so good by the time she’s finished. I leave the money on the table every other week and she comes in while I’m at work and is just finishing when I get home a few hours later. Worth. Every. Penny. The only problem is she speaks very little English and I speak very little Spanish. Oh well, works for both of us.

    Comment by Bethrusso — February 10, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

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