Button Up The House

This is the time of year I start to button up the house and get ready for the holiday season. The plants are dying back and need to be cleaned up. I’ll have to figure out where to put the herbs I’m bringing in to winter over. Hedges need to be trimmed back short, windows washed. The garage will need a big cleaning and organizing as soon as the heat lets up, and ideally the attic too. The windows will be thrown open as many days as possible when the cooler air hits to let out stale air and energy.

It’s still very hot and I’m sure it will be for another month’s time at least; but I’ve learned the hard way that if you wait too far into September to get the house in order, things will go undone. It’s best to get a jump on it.

There will still be many days of relaxing on the back deck to be had before the cold winds drive us indoors. Still, it’s time the hoses, umbrellas and outdoor cushions be stored, gutters cleaned, last round of weeds pulled from the landscaping and the fireplace inspected and ready for the first cold morning. It’s good to overdo it now so you have the time and comfort come October to just focus on decorating, crafting gifts and having fun with your family.

It always feels nice when the house is tidied and organized. My mind starts to dream up ways I’ll arrange the year’s Halloween and then Harvest and finally Christmas decorations. Things start to get cozy.

I don’t do the work of making a home for myself. I do it for my husband and my son. I do it so our family has a place to gather on holidays. I do it so we have a way of marking the seasons as they roll one into the other. I find creating traditions and rituals makes the work joyful and rewarding and cements the memories I’m lucky enough to hold onto.

This year all of the homemaking will be done with a new level of mindfulness. I’ll be extra careful to have herbal remedies and shelf stable food put away in case of another lockdown. I’ll also be keeping Fox home from school, so the decorations and seasonal activities will be used as learning tools. The extra challenges of living in a world of social distancing and face masks just motivates me to make things as lighthearted as possible. We may have to adapt, but we will come out on the other side. Keeping up with the house work and maintaining as much of the seasonal merriment as possible is the best thing for everyone.

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