Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dust, Plain and Fancy

During the recovery period that followed my total knee replacement, Kim and I were inattentive to housekeeping. I couldn't stand for long periods of time, and Kim, after standing for hours at her job, spent her evenings maintaining basic home sanitation and doing all the things necessary to keep us fed. Dusting wasn't a priority. Where dust fell, we were careful not to disturb it.

The thing is, this house seems to be a dust magnet. I don't know how so much dust gets in the house. My neighbors complain of the same problem. We look around outside and see grass, green grass everywhere, no patches of bare dirt. Maybe our dust is of the educated, civilized variety that deliberately migrates to comfortable indoor quarters. I don't know, but it's a problem.

On a recent weekend, Kim and I decided it was time to do some deep cleaning. We didn't want to knock dust off tabletops and into the air, so we used vacuum cleaners--two HEPA-filtered ones with brush attachments. We carefully sucked up all that dirt and confined it in plastic bags so it couldn't escape before we disposed of it in the outside trash can. There was a lot of it--so much that we began to feel like hunters bagging prey: "Look how much I got in the living room!" We were determined, we were thorough and, afterwards, pleased but quite achy.

Two days later I sat down in our sparkling clean living room to watch television. Rays of late-afternoon sunshine beamed through the small window in the front door, and my jaw dropped open. I could not believe the galaxy of dust motes visible in those sunbeams. 

I didn't think Kim would believe it, either, so I got the camera and zoomed in on the offending particles. Is this what's in the air we're breathing in a clean house? Yuck!

As appalled as I was at all the dust, I have to admit to being fascinated by the photo of the dust. I thought all dust was grey. Click on the picture to enlarge it, then notice all the colors: pinks, blues, greens, yellows. It's almost like miniaturized confetti. Or glitter--yeah, that's it, glitter. Glitter in the air, like the Pink song.

Wish I could think of it in such positive terms when I'm trying to clean shelves and shelves of books.

The song is "Glitter in the Air," by Pink.
Click here to read the lyrics.
Thanks to maaanu90 for posting this song on YouTube.


  1. Wow, that is quite a bit! Have you checked your furnace filter? Do you have a humidifier running when heat is on? If not, try it out and see if it helps. Hope you're feeling better with each passing day!

    1. Val, thanks for the filter reminder. It's past time to change it, so I'll go do that right now. Thanks for the well wishes, too. I'm feeling great!

  2. No wonder we all have breathing trouble.
    The house looks so clean, but that dust
    Will settle all over where you cleaned!


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