I’m sitting here with The Cure blasting in my ears . . . “‘You and me are the world,’ she said. Nothing else is real. . . ”  But, I can imagine the non-stop whirrr coming from the new vacuum. Our old vacuum officially died last week. However, it had  been on its last legs for at least six months. I shudder at how dirty my floors must be. IZ is busily making up for lost time, giving our pitiful house a serious once over.  A man who not only cooks but vacuums? Yeah, hat makes him the perfect boy. 

July has been, dare I jinx it, perfect too. Today’s rain never really appeared, although it looks like it might try again tonight. Instead, we got big blustery  clouds and sun breaks.  There is something ever so magical about sunlight when you’ve been promised rain. The texture, the quality of light paints large landscapes–every street lights up, beckoning you to walk down just one more lane. I remarked to IZ, on our brisk hike to the top of the hill this morning, “It’s like those old movies, where the pioneers are cresting the mountain and look down on the valley below—it’s all romantic and inviting. You feel like you’ve arrived!”  He humors me. I can’t help it, sunlight makes me giddy.

So, he’s busy making my house clean and I’m telling you what a goof I can be when I’m oxygen deprived and basking in warm rays. (Uh, I hiked a hill, hello asthma!) But tomorrow I’m on call with this grubby house. We’re in deep clean mode these days, anticipating a visit on Saturday with IZ’s sister,  Cheryl.  Dare  I say she’s my favorite sister-in-law? 

It’s probably impolitic to have a favorite, eh? Well, let me tell you why I adore my sister-in-law. She’s IZ’s older sister. He’s the baby of 8 and she was nearly 17 when he was born. In many ways, she’s been a “mother” figure to him. Although we don’t say that directly, because she still seems so young. She’s one of those people who never seems to age–and yet always makes you feel beautiful. She listens, really listens. She brings little gifts every time she visits. And don’t hear me wrong, it’s not the gift it’s the fact she does it. You know? She’s present and connected and so gracious. 

She was the first of our family to come meet our son when he was born and she’s been the most involved Aunt. She sends Boy Wonder all these sweet notes in the mail. In fact, they’ve developed quite the friendship via snail mail. She jots down her thoughts on scraps of paper as she commutes.  He responds in that stilted way 12 year olds tend to write. He still can’t read her writing (though it’s quite pretty and legible by my  standards!) so I get the privilege of reading her letters to him—it’s like peeking into their private world.  She tells him about her travels and what IZ was like as a child. She gives our son a connection to something bigger, wider than just his parents. And, sadly, our child just isn’t that connected to family—time and distance (and really, emotional inability) have played a big role in that regard. So, she represents the notion of extended family for our son, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

Anyhow, she is expected on Saturday. Her arrival has me doing a prepositional clean on the space. Not that she would notice the grime or the disorder—but I would. She and IZ share a birthday month and so in addition to cleaning like a mad person (Hello, dust on the picture rail. Be gone with you!) I’m also planning a lovely party on the porch. There is cake to be baked and a menu to shop for, it’s going to be a busy week. Saturday’s weather is promising, dare I jinx it,  to be sunny and in the 70’s.  I’m not worried. Because you know,  dear readers,  I have faith it’s going to be perfect.