I learned a lesson today. I try to learn lessons every day, but frankly some days just aren’t all that informative.
But today Mary and I cleaned a house out in Blaine. Well, honestly it was almost more Ham Lake (yes, you read that right) than Blaine, but that hardly matters. What matters is that it’s out in the suburban sticks, acres upon acres of developments, primarily around golf courses but some surrounding what used to be much larger wetlands.
Once off the county road, we drove deep into Cattail Estates or Rolling Oak Meadows or wherever we were. It doesn’t really matter. We had passed at least four other developments just like it.
There we were, rows and rows of enormous houses on twisting roads, all built by the same builder with your choice of what appeared to be four basic shapes.
Mary and I both agreed we could not live on those winding, dead-end streets.
As she pointed out, there was no way you could walk for cigarettes.
We pulled up. It was a large house, two stories, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, almost ridiculously high windows and cheap woodwork.
There wasn’t a stick of furniture in the place.
We were quite excited that it was empty.
Oh, foolish mortals.
I want you to picture the interior walls of this place. It was as if a good-sized dog had walked throughout the majority of the rooms with his nose on the wall. It was baffling. Absolutely baffling.
There was also crayon, stickers (mostly of the Little Mermaid), various running stains, and what seemed to be lipstick here and there, but there was no evidence of a dog.
What was this stuff on the walls?
And the kitchen! The departing tenants had done a lot of high-heat frying, and the appliances, walls, sinks were coated in a thick residue of the ghosts of vegetable oil past. Mary in particular scrubbed until she could no longer make the scrubbing motion. I personally scoured the fingerprints off two of the fingers on my right hand, leading to a discussion on the evils of crime and the morbid fascination we both have with the true crime shows.
So here’s what I learned today:
We may have cleaned that house from top to bottom, but there’s probably still DNA somewhere in it.
And just because it’s empty doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a lot of work.
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