This afternoon Fr. came to bless our house. This has never been done before. A few years ago I remarked on that fact to a friend, and she told me that with John and me living here, the house is certainly blessed. Well, but not really. Not like now!
John told me he had set up the appointment and I immediately started forming a list of cleaning chores. Because, you know, I cannot have a dirty house blessed. I keep a fairly tidy house, seeing it’s part of my vocation and all, but this place was as clean today as it ever is at one time. Cleaned within an inch of its life. I even cleaned out the fridge, (and I can explain why it’s called buttermilk-ewwww) because one must have clean vegetable bins! Oh yes! Mini blinds? Dusted. Ceiling fan? Dusted. I couldn’t reach the cobwebs in the skylight and to my horror, ten minutes before Fr. was due to arrive, I realized I hadn’t cleaned the oven. You laugh. Go ahead. It’s okay, because I’m laughing too.
The funny thing is, I have a feeling that it all was entirely unnecessary. Because we are blessed how we are, even as we try to become something else. Soooo…while I strive to be immaculate in housekeeping, I am not, nor do I actually think it’s possible or even desirable. Really what I want is a comfortable house, and I’m not sure I achieve that. I am not comfortable here the way I was in my mom’s various places of residence, or in my grandparent’s house. I’ve often thought about this: is it the floorplan? The furnishings? I think it’s a state of mind or being rather than a reflection of the physical plant (take that, feng shui). Although, my mom and my grandparents had neat houses. I am not sure what to do about it, other than quit being so obsessive about housekeeping. I really, really want my children to be comfortable here, you know, to like being here better than being anywhere else.
My children are different than their parents. John and I both preferred our rooms as children, we could spend endless hours in there by ourselves. We are both introverts. (Shocking, I know). We have been blessed with extroverted children who would much rather spend every waking moment outside their rooms in family space. I’m not sure what to make of it…besides thinking, “What is wrong with you children?”
So, Fr. arrives, carrying a beautiful vestment all folded up, and a cross, and we get some icons (all three of them that we have) and a bowl for water and a few palm fronds (because Home Depot had big palms on sale for $8.80, and I bought one, and it’s now by a south window practically on top of a heater vent, doing surprisingly well but I have little hope). Fr. sets it up on the counter and says some prayers over the water. During this time William is walking back and forth bringing in toys to set next to the icons. GI Joe, and then his rifle. Fr. was amused, and I was horrified. Then he starts walking around the house blessing! And what am I thinking? Yes, you guessed it. Will those little drops of water leave spots on my antiques? I am just that pathetic.
Later, I decided I would be proud of the spots, if there were any. I haven’t noticed any. Of course I looked. I almost kind of wish I could see one, because it would remind me that this house has been blessed. It will remind me, like Fr. said, that without God, we have nothing. Well he said something like that: we cannot survive without water and we cannot survive without God. And my children who will likely inherit these antiques someday will know the same thing. They will be blessed. Hopefully they won’t be so fanatic about dust either.