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The rising sun through dusty windows nudged jenna awake. She opened her eyes and looked around sadly, as if seeing the room for the first time. Her eyes and heart ached with the mess. Clothes were piled in corners, a stack of dirty plates and bowls teetered on the dresser by the bedroom door. They had never made it downstairs.

She found her ratty bathrobe beneath a discarded towel and wrapped it around her shoulders as she walked through her messy house. The kitchen smelled horrible with the garbage can overflowing.

The living room was no better. Dust lay in a thin film on everything.

Jenna turned on the radio and found a oldies station. A familiar tune instantly filled the room and her with a determination she had not felt for years.

Returning to her room she changed into comfy sweatpants and a tee shirt.

Then she began.

She gathered the bed sheets and dirty clothes into a pile and struggled down the stairs to the laundry room.

The sound of rushing water and the smell of lemon laundry soap seemed to push her forward with a new found energy.

With a few bags tucked into her waistband, she worked her way around the neglected home.

She collected newspapers, bottles, flyers and mail. Single socks, coins and coffee cups.

In the kitchen, she filled the sink with hot soapy water and slid the dirty dishes in. Jenna gathered all the dish cloths, the curtains and a couple of dirty tablecloths hat she found rolled up behind the door.

Another wash began as she swept up multi colored lint bunnies scattered around the laundry room.

She hung the sheets on the clothesline. The January chill and the warm sun on her face was a wonderful contridicion.

Everything from the bathroom was piled into a wicker basket. The tiles and tub were scrubbed clean. Gathering the towels and bathmat, she did one more load.

Dust rose in tiny puffs as Jenna punched her embroidered pillows in the living room, then lay them in the sun.

Jenna danced her way across the living room with a mop as the music moved her.

The pine floors now gleamed in the sunlight. The wooden mantle piece above the fireplace, a popular catchall, was finally cleared of miscellaneous junk.

By lunchtime, five bags to be donated to the thrift store were stacked on the porch.

The winter air swirled in chilled breezes freshening the house while Jenna cleaned the windows.

She stood before the reflecting window and stared at herself as if a stranger. Memories and long ago feelings came over her in a rush of emotions.

Since Tom had died, she had lost her way. Her house over run with rubbish and dirty clothes. Junk and tears.

At this moment, she knew that she had crossed some barrier that had been holding her back, dimming her life.

She raised her hand and ran it through her shapeless hair as the music held her in grip.

By late afternoon, Jenna's house was sparkling clean. She felt light and full of life.

The next day, Jenna walked through the front door with bags of food, bottles of wine and a bouquet of showy flowers. Her hair was newly done and she had a hint of makeup on.

She walked to the fridge and took down her list. There were only three resolutions and she crossed them off with bold strokes.

~clean house.

~spa day

~ask Dan over for dinner.

January 18, 2020 15:23

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Madisson James
04:45 Oct 03, 2020



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