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Monday, January 17, 2011

Stone Soup Cleaning 101

Stone soup. You know the story. The soldiers come into town hungry and tired. They ask for something to eat, but no one has anything. So the soldiers find a big pot, add some stones and water, and it begins to boil. They wait. One by one, the town peasants bring onions, then potatoes, carrots, and you can see where this is going. Eventually their hunger is satisfied. I LOVED the story of stone soup when I was growing up. I could just see it, and, I think I could smell it too!

It all began on Saturday morning when I spotted my bargain bag of 3lb/$1 oranges. They were looking slightly shriveled as they lay in their netted bag, a bit dimpled. While on the official hunt for the official fruit bowl (which I find), I discover its contents to be a handful of much older clementines, two sweet potatoes, and one still nice and firm red onion. Knowing that my onions and potatoes are supposed to go in my orchard basket in the pantry, I open the pantry door. I spot my orchard basket, pull it out, and proceed to empty it of one bad onion, dried onion peel, a handful of Ritz crackers (cracker, anyone?), and oh, I think a twisty-tie or two. Now, not only is this becoming personal, (I just wanted to put away my oranges!), I conclude that this haphazard method of organization (oxymoron!) isn't doing anyone any favors. I can do better. And so begins the clean. One clean shelf begets another clean shelf, and that clean shelf begets another, and then another, and the next thing I know, contents of honey containers are combined, all snacks are happily packed away in the official snack box, and I could go on and on.

There's just something about things being in their place. We are a busy family in our own way. Though we don't have as many outside activities as most families, we have a lot going on that can contribute to a much needed dose of stone soup cleaning: homeschooling, worship leading, homeschool support group leadership, fun with friends, more fun with friends, Danny's ever-changing flight schedule, the mandatory doctor's appointments: it can get disorderly p r e t t y fast around here. Today just seemed to be the day to do something about it, and I couldn't be happier with the results. And to think this story began because I wanted to put away a bag of oranges!

5 comments:

Mari said...

I've done the same thing. Next time I'm doing it I'll remember the stone soup story.

Susan said...

Love this story and the anology!! I've been gradually doing the same type straighting up, organizing and deep cleaning you are speaking of. Yes, it feels so very good. I know "orderliness" (is that a word) helps keep my mind and spirit also straight, organized and clear. I've also been weeding out so much unnecessary "clutter". I know it helps me focus more on the important things.

My best advice after 73 years of life, as it pertains to housekeeping, is "Every thing has a place and everything in its place."

Brenda said...

I definitely can relate! My problem is that I forget what started it all in the first place! But, hey, as long as something gets done right?

Pam said...

Trying to regain some order in my life. Timely story.

I really stopped by to thank you from the bottome of my heart for praying for my Josh. He has repented and realized satan's lies have had him blinded to the damage he has been doing. Josh still needs prayers and encouragment of heart. He is headed out to Texas as I type this. A temp job awaits him and 4 other friends. I just love God's timing! These 4 guys are Christian friends from church. Josh had pretty much been neglecting them due to his new found sinful lifestyle. So glad this job is forcing them to be together at work and rooming together out there in Houston!! Hallelujah!

TraciG said...

I know exactly how that feels! I've been dragging my feet on some year-end bookkeeping tasks, and yesterday I got it finished, filed everything where it belongs, and even tidied up the check register. It's amazing how much more settled I feel when everything is in its place. I just need to remember that when I'm whisking around to and fro!