January 27, 2004
We were supposed to pick up our Focus (also known as my new car) last night, but snow and ice storm delayed the person who was driving it from the dealer where our dealer was picking it up. That plan foiled, we picked it up this morning, when many schools were closed due to weather and there was a winter storm warning. While a day when the roads are slick and the precipitation can’t decide if it wants to be heavy snow or freezing rain and other drivers are sliding all over the place would not be my first choice for when to take a new car for a long drive, it certainly was nice that no one had to take the Mustang through the piles of slush and ice. I made it to work with my new mechanical baby in as good of shape as it had left the dealership, except of course for it now being covered in salt and road grime. Ah, well, cars are meant to be driven, and this one drives just fine. I’m not sure about the colors yet. The sangria red exterior is pretty, but darker than I like a car to be; I’m afraid it will show dirt too well. But since I’ll mostly see the inside of the car, how it looks outside is not that big a deal. The interior colors will take some getting used to since brown and tan are not my favorite neutrals and this car’s got them both. This time of year it’s dark half the time I’m driving anyway, so I can adjust gradually.
The other newness in my life is having a cleaning lady. I resisted taking this step for years. I thought I should be able to take care of my own house, that not doing it meant I was lazy or spoiled or something else bad. I didn’t relish the idea of someone I didn’t know getting into my stuff, either. But Mr. Karen and I never managed to really keep up with the housework. There’s always something better to do in our limited hours at home, so we were pretty much constantly living with enough mess around to cause stress. Then, about three or four months ago, my sister-in-law called to say her cleaning lady was looking for more houses. Would we be interested? So we talked and thought and decided we would. Having someone recommended by a relative eased my qualms about handing over a key to my house to someone I’d just met, and I was eventually able to convince myself that hiring someone to do my dirty work didn’t necessarily make me a bad person and that getting into this situation in particular wouldn’t make me a tax cheat, either. So finally we called Maria and she came to give us a quote and work out the details and she came for the first time yesterday. I don’t think the house has ever been so clean. It certainly has never been so shiny or smelled so strongly of Murphy’s Oil Soap. It was so nice to just have it done. Now I won’t feel guilty anymore when I’m quilting instead of cleaning. I will have to get used to things not being in the same place where I left them, but they all did seem to end up back on the same surface, or at least in the same room, so I think I can manage.
A year ago, I’d just come back from yet another ski trip.