Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Get ready, company's coming

Wick's World


Spring cleaning, fall cleaning, or any other seasonal cleanup is no match for the two times when you really have to clean your house. Of course the No. 1 cleaning priority in most families is when company is coming. The other cleaning priority falls to graduations.

In our house, high school graduation was synonymous with remodeling the house. Unlike the normal Minnesota tradition of holding high school graduation parties in the garage, we felt our grad parties were a great time to showcase our home. I can only conclude that the logic of holding a party in your garage must have to do with high school graduation coinciding with what is called "mud season."

Before our adventure of building a log cabin and living in an area surrounded by the Great Horseshoe Swamp of rural Aitkin County, we had never even heard the term "mud season." My wife and I spent most of our lives in the relatively dry states of South Dakota and Texas before moving to the lakes, swamps and tamarack bogs of northern Minnesota. When you have your friends, your friends' friends, relatives and neighbors traipsing through your house in late May while frost boils are still bubbling in the driveway, it makes it sensible to guide the guests toward the garage. After all, cleanup can be as simple as hosing down the cement floor.

Routine house cleaning situations, at least in my latest career as a house husband, include having the house clean when the spouse arrives home. Lucky for me, my wife works flexible hours. For her that means going in late and arriving home even later. This always gives me ample time to run a clutter-free spit-shined ship. Very rare is the day when my wife says anything to me other than, “The house looks nice.”

Tomorrow a very special friend of mine who is currently on a book-signing tour will be stopping by. He has been my teacher for over two decades and I have had the privilege to spend the past weekend following him around to his lectures. This Guatemalan refugee once had a $5,000 price on his head, payable dead or alive by the brutal right wing death squads that plagued Guatemala for decades. He managed to escape to the north and eventually became a very successful author and teacher.

The greatest teacher I have met in my lifetime will be bringing his wife, son and daughter for an overnight visit. The next morning I have the opportunity of getting them to the train station for a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s.

After sending me an advance Kindle version of his latest book, he asked if I would write an endorsement to include inside the front cover. I sent off my endorsement in which I mostly wrote about what he had done for my life as opposed to what I was supposed to be writing about — an appraisal of the book.

He called me back and said, “Thanks for the blurb, Wick, but you never said if you liked the book!”

Oops! I rewrote a better version that he somehow thought was worthy of inclusion. Yes, I consider it a great honor to have my review in his book, however, I have a goal, which for me will be much grander. Someday I want him to write an endorsement of my book. Hopefully it will be about something other than “How and When to Clean your House.”


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