I'm not sure when I've lived a more intense month. Somehow, everything comes to a head during what should be a glorious, energizing month of beautiful weather, parties, happy kids, pool time... and great ripe fruit. And yet, it was a month of stress and worry, sickness and sleepless nights, and just way too much house-cleaning.
It's over now. I've cleaned my house to the best of my abilities. Martine helped me paint the floor. Carol came by with her maid to help me clean one day, and Mireille showed up that last Saturday to spend six hours with me scrubbing all that still needed doing, such as the hot water pot and the salad spinner and the oven and the door of the fridge. We pulled out the beds and vacuumed away armies of dust bunnies (beds with drawers are heavy and not easy to clean under on a regular basis!). We made every bed in the house, double-checked the dust on every shelf, made each room just so, counted the towels (I'm not sure there were enough, so I'm bringing more from the b&b). The front courtyard and back received their sweeping. What more to do?
There were last minute purchases -- laundry detergent, new cushions for the outside couch, towels. And forgotten ones -- sponges, dishwashing liquid.
The stress of putting a house that is very much lived in into perfect condition... As I well know, what will be noticed is what has been forgotten or what isn't perfect, not what is. Will they enjoy the fresh herbs in the garden? my super clean pool (which I've finally mastered after three years' of ownership), the farm around the corner? the books and cds I've left for them to peruse?
Ah well, this group is only there a week, and, this hottest of weeks in Provence. I forgot to tell them to keep the windows and shutters closed during the day time.... The natural cool of the stones may be lost by Saturday when I return to see them off.
Perhaps next week will bring cool weather? and the next renters will be able to return the house to some semblance of its refreshing essence?
I am now homeless. I cook a meal for two (or rather cut up vegetables for salad...), I sweep away only the burrs from Filou's rambles, I toss in a load of laundry a week rather than 5. I've errands, a couple of tours, but for the moment no children to care for, no house of my own to maintain. I feel remarkably light right now.
Onwards towards vacation.