Photo Credit: Biography.com
This morning as I was drinking my coffee at 7 a.m. I heard a lawn mower start up, before I even looked out the window I knew it was my neighbor Mary Lou. I am convinced she is the long lost sister of Martha Stewart, the woman who made home making into an empire. Actually I think Mary Lou might be able to outdo Martha in the domestic engineering department.
Now don't get me wrong here Mary Lou is a pleasant enough lady. In the 23 years I have lived here I have never actually had a conversation with her, I usually see her at the mailbox as I stumble across my driveway early in the morning with my hair sticking up in all directions and say "hi". She and her husband are private, quiet people. When they were raising their five children you would have never guessed there were five kids living in the house across the street they are so quiet.
In the summer time when I look out at 7 a.m. I see Mary Lou's laundry hanging on the clothesline already and I know it's not yesterday's laundry that she forgot to take down because every evening she is out there taking the laundry down. If Mary Lou is not busy helping her husband mow the lawn she is either out front taking care of her flowers or in the side yard weeding her garden and picking blueberries.
The first couple of winters I lived here I figured Mary Lou probably stays inside like most people do here in this cold northeastern climate with all the snow and ice. Of course I was wrong. Good old Mary Lou is out there every day in the winter shoveling her long driveway by hand with a shovel. It takes all my energy just to shovel the four steps to my porch off and there is no way I am going to shovel the driveway, we pay a guy with a snow plow to do it.
And I have noticed that my neighbors seem to be on a strict schedule. Every evening around 6 p.m. they take their Labrador retriever for a walk. Thursdays are for yard work and every Sunday like clock work Mary Lou washes the vehicles by hand, even in the winter.
I admire women like Martha Stewart and Mary Lou, really I do. I think a lot about how they do things and wish I were great at housekeeping like they are. I suppose part of the problem is I think about housekeeping too much and don't actually do the work. I feel like such a slob sometimes when I look out my dirty windows across the road at Mary Lou's pristine yard while she is working away at 7 a.m. Did I mention Mary Lou is also about ten years older than me and has like double the energy?