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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 29


Heavier house cleaning was saved for the one day Jimbo came to help. On this particular day Dee had chosen the task of cleaning the upholstery on her 28 year old chairs.  The day was extremely hot which was perfect for letting them dry.

The recliners were dusty even though they had been vacuumed regularly. It was just the way of things because they lived in the country. Did they encroach on the wheat fields or was it the fields pushing in on them?  At any rate during the late summer after harvest came the plowing of the fields.  It wasn't plowing like had been done when Dee was a girl with deep set turned over rows. The up dated knowledge of the farmer these days simply had him saving the straw from the wheat for a mulch on top of the ground.  There was still a good amount of dust though as the farmer worked his fields.

The chairs had been cleaned many times and there were places on the arms to tell of this.  “I can't find a chair I like.  It is like the hats of the children's book, you know.  One is too spotty, too tall, too blue, too uncomfortable and on and on.”  Dee complained to Jimbo.

“It hasn't been that  long ago we cleaned these.”  Jimbo observed.

Dee depended on him to keep a mental “set of books” as to their cleaning. Of course, it was always just a ring around the rosey, thing. They started at one place and worked their way back around eventually to where they had started.

Jimbo never complained. Only once when she wanted to move a heavy file cabinet did he say something.  “As I remember that thing is almost impossible to move.”

With his reminder she remembered the one time they had moved it and decided it should stay just where it was, permanently. “You are definitely  right about that. I do well  remember.”

The chairs were not that difficult to move and Jimbo had the hang of it.

“Where do you want these?”

“I want them out in the sun. They will dry with no worries today. No damp musty smell.  It's a perfect day for it.”

The chairs were awkward in size but not heavy. Jimbo dutifully dragged them to the outdoors where Dee wanted them. The next thing was getting the rug shampoo machine out which was a small chore. The  problem with it  was remembering all the little steps for putting the thing together.  There was a small container for the actual cleaner, a larger container for the rinse water, and, of course, only one way would work. Remembering which buttons to push for changing the machine over to upholstery rather than carpet came into the picture too.

“Can you remember which button I push for what?”  Dee asked.

“No.”  Jimbo didn't hesitate with an answer.

“Oh well!  Rats!  I was sure you would know.  I mean this is just something we do everyday.”  Dee was comfortable in joking with Jimbo. Their many years of acquaintance gave this to them both.

“Let's see.  It says here.”  Jimbo was reading what was on the machine.

“There you go, reading the instructions again.”  Dee chided.

“Hmm.  Still doesn't mean we are in business yet.”  Jimbo was grinning.

After they had the machine working Dee realized although the heat of the day was perfect for drying fabric it wasn't exactly the best time to work.  In a little while they were both almost light headed with the exertion of pulling and pushing the cleaning nozzle back and forth over the chair.  Finally, Dee was satisfied   with the looks of the chairs. Without a doubt they were brighter and were beginning to look like their former self, other than the frayed edges of the arms.

After Jimbo left Dee found herself on the couch in front of the television. She was thoroughly wrung out and exhausted.  Later when Sam came in the back door from off a job she noticed he was rummaging in the cabinet where she stored cleaning products.  He went back out the door with a can of disinfectant spray.

“Oh golly!  I wonder if he is going to spray those chairs.  Oh no!”  She was up and off the couch in an instant.

“You aren't putting that stuff on those chairs?  We just spent the afternoon cleaning them.”

Sam looked up at her.  “Well, it is like this.  As I was coming around the corner, Tray was lifting his leg and adding his bit to the project.”

“I must be hysterical but somehow or another that strikes me as being funny.  Hmmm, Tray again?  That dog, that dog.  Oh my!  I just thought. Don't tell Jimbo.”

Fortunately the place visited was on the side of the chair was where there was only fabric and no cushioning material.  Dee simply took the hose and ran it over and over again on the fabric. Tray stood off at a distance watching her.

“Just come on over here again, Mr. Tray.  See what happens to you while I have this hose in my hand.”

Tray simply turned his head and looked away, as if to say, “So?”


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