It was one of my autumn rituals as the home and garden reporter for the La Crosse Tribune to write a get-ready-for-winter story where I would share all sorts of tips for prepping the yard and house for winter.
Now that I have time, I’m taking my own advice. I mixed up some cement patch this morning, trotted outside with a whisk broom, and cleaned up a tiny area on the foundation that required patching.
I now realize I should have been running those stories in September, when the weather was still cooperating. I performed my patch job under a sunshiny sky with a temp of 34 degrees. And even that felt nicer than yesterday when an Arctic wind cut short my bike ride.
I’m finding out that hanging around the house full time has raised my expectations about my own standard of living. Things like cracks in the foundation, loose bricks and piles of dirt are beginning to bug me. And dust bothers me more than it used to. By that, I mean that dust never used to bother me at all. Now, when I spy a little pile of dust in a corner, I question how it got there as I move quickly to remove it.
Heck, I used to live peacefully with dust. I don’t have asthma or allergies so I was not a vigilante about it.
Now, it’s as if I’ve been promoted to four-star general with the sole duty of dust eradication.
I’m sure I’ll get over my Mr. Clean mentality. Faced with a winter of chasing dust bunnies, I will probably come to a peaceful co-existence. But for now, I’m on a home improvement rampage and it almost feels like I’m winning.