Thursday, March 18, 2010


Now you may think it strange that one even has a philosophy on the minutia of dust. It all began in the beginning, a very good place to begin.

Genesis 2:7 confirms it, "The Lord formed man from the dust of the ground."

Right after the honeymoon, you begin this lifelong entanglement with dust. We barely had furniture in our Nashville garage apartment but I still dusted my little, metal TV tray, decorated with our cake topper. When we moved into a nicer duplex, furnished by the church in Kinston, NC, I actually enjoyed dusting the real wood. The lemony smell of Pledge. The brilliant shine reflecting.
That thrill lasted about a week. The duty was every week.

I used Doug's old undershirts as dust cloths because Mama used Daddy's old shirts. Sacred family traditions live on! I heard about a mother having the butcher cut the leg of lamb in half. Her daughter asked, "Mama, why do you do that?"

"I don't know, Honey. My mama did it that way. You'll have to ask Grandma."

So she did and Grandma said, "My mother did it that way. I'll ask her why."

"Mama, why did you always have the leg of lamb cut in half?"

"Cause that's the only way it would fit in my little pot."

Traditions die hard but I evolved in my dust philosophy and moved from old underwear and Pledge to the simplicity of the feather duster. Oh my! The beautiful colors, the handle that kept me at a distance from the dust, the ease and grace of dusting. Once again I enjoyed dusting the furniture.
For about a day.

Dusting became the chore to do with the least effort and frequency that I could get away with. Weekly was a goal. Just a goal. Company coming was my true motivation. Sometimes we'd go two weeks between guests. When the sun shone through a window, my neglect was obvious to all.

As a mother, I trained my children well in the philosophy of dust. I beamed when I heard our little daughter chatting with a visiting playmate. The delighted guest cooed, "Ohhhh, cool! You can write your name on the furniture here."

"Yes," replied my little protege', "Mama says you may write names but no dates please."

Then came the Swiffer. It was a magic wand! Dust leapt to it and so did I. Longer arms, greater to the device, it to the dust. It was love renewed.
For about an hour.

Eventually by the time our kids were grown and left home, my dusting became just blowing on the furniture occasionally, without moving the objects.

The thrill was gone. THEN when I thought I'd always hate dusting, a friend introduced me to one yet better. Compressed air!

Those little cans made for electronics work pretty well on furniture too. He said (yes, HE...thanks, Craig!) "With a good eye and steady aim, you can dust from across the room!" (I won't tell Lyn your secret method.)

So my summation on dust is this. You were made from it. You chase it out of your house every week. It comes right back in. Pointless work. Most dust is actually dead skin! So it's literally self defeating to wage war on dust. And one day you'll return to it. Ecclesiastes 3:20 confirms it, "All go to the same place, all come from dust and to dust all return."

So why bother? It wins. In the beginning, through life and in the end. With Biblical support, I give up.

Dust to dust,


  1. This reminds me of some internet joke I read recently about a little boy upon being asked what he learned in Sunday School, replied, "I learned about butt dust."

    "What?" said the shocked mother.

    It comes from Genesis 19:27.

    "And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes."

  2. I don't dust either, unless I have to! It's such a thankless job and so temporary. I tell myself "I'll do it next week," but next week seldom comes. Love the way you put it.