The best part about going on vacation is coming back to a clean house.
At least that was always the theory my Dad prescribed to as he would transition from his normally easy-going demeanor into "Trip Mode" whenever a vacation was immanent. Trip Mode is triggered by the inevitable countdown to leaving for a trip - whether it be a short-term weekend jaunt or a longer, more extended vacay - which is not entirely unlike watching the timer to an atomic bomb report the priceless seconds prior to detonation.
Once we're t-minus 24 hours, the inquiries begin: "Are you packed yet?" "Have you packed?" "Are you done packing yet?" "Have you started packing yet?" And so forth. This calm, outer layer of Trip Mode quickly chips away, layer by layer, to the molten, bubbling core, which is exactly a half an hour from the time in which we were previously told was the time we were leaving. In between the bellowing orders to pack the car! Put your stuff in the car! PACK THE CAR NOW! and the initial calm inquiry about the status of our heap of clothing laying next to our open suitcase on the floor, are the orders to clean the house up.
It is imperative if you are going away, if even for an hour, that you clean the house up completely so that upon your return, you can bask in the spick-n-span glory of a home freshly Swiffered. That isn't a direct quote from Mr. D himself, but it may as well be one.
Sadly, of all the good habits I've picked up from the doting Mr. and Mrs. D, cleaning the house before a trip is not one of those habits. Annoyingly enough, the ticking agitation that pulls at the corner of my left eye a half hour from Departure Time has festered and rotted inside my brain and whether it be church (9:04 a.m.: "Are we ready? Is everyone ready? Ready to go? I'm walking out the door now...") or state ("We need to be where we're going in three hours, which means we needed to leave 6 hours ago!"). The big difference, though, is that when I storm out of the house 10 minutes before Original Departure Time, I'm leaving a whirlwind of detritus in my wake: Outfits assembled and discarded, toiletry bottles over 4 ounces, the weeks' clutter whirled into a pile of "I'll deal with it when I get back."
Now multiply that by 3 and you'll start to get an idea for the way the house was left when we ran off to Oregon this weekend.
But we're lucky girls because my dad isn't the only person to wax tidy about the merits of returning to a clean house. While we were gone, a certain Tyler Kemp and a certain Mike Posey snuck into our house...
...and cleaned it, top to bottom. Complete with sidewalk chalk drawings in the front walkway to welcome us home.
It is probably one of the nicest things anyone has done for me lately (I don't want to say "in my life," because those superlatives are reserved for parents who pay for college and spend their lives imparting wisdom and good habits to their mewling offspring), and I was completely speechless (rare) to see our lovely home so lovingly scrubbed from floor to counter by two guys who, in my book, completely embody the term
Hot Man-Servant Good Friend.