The Dirt Roads

Just to clarify, I’m not starting a cleaning business.

My last post was an intro to some things I learned.

I believe every path of our past brings us to where we stand today. Some are paved, and some are dirt.


I received the strangest looks from clients upon entering their homes. Some would actually say, “You don’t look like a maid.” I would reply, “Oh, I’m not. I’m a writer helping a friend.” On those days I wasn’t writing, I was getting up at 5:00 am to go help my friend clean two, 2,000 sq. foot houses.

I enjoyed cleaning the houses that were well kept.

You could tell that the people who lived there cared about their things. There was no clutter, but I could find dirt and dust. They were at work, but I wanted them to come home and feel a difference. For me, it was the tiniest of details, and the homeowners noticed.

One lady had a wall of family photos displayed, and I could tell they were framed with care. As I was dusting one, I noticed a speck of dirt on the inside of the glass. It was right in the center, and looking at the order of which the house was in, my guess would be it drove the homeowner to distraction.

One of my favorite jobs was working in a Custom Frame Shoppe, so I knew how to take the picture apart, get the speck out, and reassemble it properly.

When the homeowner returned and saw her house had been loved on all day, she called my friend that I was helping clean and said, “I don’t know who you sent to my home today, but I want her every time.”

It made me feel good that she felt the difference.

The home I cleaned yesterday is a well maintained home. He works all the time, and doesn’t enjoy cleaning in the little time he has off. The extra things I did were, watered all the plants and took the price tags off, cleaned the fridge inside and out, trimmed all the wicks of the candles so they were ready to be lit, and made the bed look like a dream.

We need to be willing to gain experience for the next part of the journey. I had cleaning ladies for 15 years, and had to put things back the way they were when they left. When I cleaned I didn’t rearrange.

My past homes have looked similar to a museum.

I’ve stayed at Marriott Resorts while vacationing, so I knew what the bed should look and feel like.

When people pay me for my time, it’s an exchange of energy. They used their energy to make the money, and give it to me for my energy spent on their home.

It’s nice to know at my age that I can still be passionate about work, and do things out of the box.

Today, I’m grateful to have lived on the dirt roads.

Think and Grow Rich

One of my favorite books is by Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich.” Millions of people have read it and expected to learn the secret of great wealth! Sitting here sipping my coffee, I wonder, “Did they get it?” I am rich and this is how.

thinkSome men tell me I think too much. This is ludicrous because I love to think! Being a writer, my thoughts reveal a potential nugget to share with others. My purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with others, so they realize they are not alone. I have also been told I talk too much. That is all part of being a writer. We think and we talk. It takes a God given man to love me.

I put this post on my Facebook timeline recently, to remind me of what I already know. My thinking will never be big enough, because my God is bigger. On my best day I can think up some pretty good stuff, but I haveta recall this. My past thinking got me a 16 year sobriety chip in AA. Let’s not do that again.

Today, God has given my daughter and me a beautiful little house on 5 acres. It’s not a mansion, but we learned a long time ago, things don’t bring happiness. Material things have brought work, worry and pain into my life. Having chosen my things carefully the past two years, they now bring me joy. There is nothing in storage. Every single piece is lived with and loved on. I use my things and they no longer use me. You cannot visibly see my wealth.

Is someone trying to take something from you? I can put up with a fair fight, but when it stops being fair, I’m done. God will replace anything taken from me with bigger and better than I could ever imagine. Just like our new home, it doesn’t look the same as I once had. It’s better, but not more than I can handle. Today I am wealthy and it’s nothing I physically did. What I thought I needed I gave up, or it’s sitting in a box. God is not in a box, and today, neither am I.




What Woke Me Up

We met in the kitchen, staring at one another with that wide-eyed look of, “What do we do?” It had been eight years since I had heard that noise requiring attention. It was almost 4 am, and this had been going on for a little while. The high-pitched cry, squeal and whining noise coming from the next room, had woken us up, and it was time for action. Not sure what type, we were going to have to dive in and start marking things off the list until happiness resumed.

bayThis picture is my daughter, Bailey, and it describes her perfectly. She took this a couple of days ago, and when she showed it to me, my heart melted. I could see she wasn’t a little girl anymore and she was growing into a beautiful young lady. Wearing her Vintage, Polo golf hat and resting her arm on her treasured Taylor guitar. That’s Bay.

She’s been wanting a puppy for months. We have been talking it through, and praying for the right time and the right dog to enter our lives. We knew that a neighbor’s Australian Cattle Dog, had given birth to a litter around Thanksgiving, so we went to look at them. Need I say more?

The sounds that woke us up in the middle of the night were from her new puppy. We went through a series of activities trying to meet his basic needs. I finally held him close and snug up against me and he fell asleep. All he wanted was to feel loved and secure. Just like us.

puppyAs I walked by her bedroom door this morning, I peeped in looking for the pup. He was sound asleep with her in the bed. Coming into the den with coffee in hand, it occurred to me that she could handle this. My past experience has been, me helping the cat have kittens and me taking care of the puppy who is now eight years old. This is not about me.

It’s about Proverbs 22:6, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” She’s old enough now to do so many things without my assistance. My hope is that she will pass me and do more! It’s a hard thing for a Mom to admit, but at the same time, it’s a proud Mama moment.