... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Trick or Treat

My sister and co-blogger Dana’s picture of that hellhole apartment and blogpost yesterday, really took me back to my roots, literally.

You know, these days, when someone asks me my age I tell them that I am old enough to not want to talk about it. And because our dad had me up at the crack of dawn as a little girl cleaning apartments–all these years later–I CANNOT believe that people STILL live this way! How can you be so disrespectful of someone else’s property? My mother and my sister work their butts off to make sure that these dwellings are habitable and comfortable in every sense of the word. It is work! A financial, laborious, caretaking, sometimes sleepless night investment.

I mean, are you kidding me???

In my recently released book, Incompatible with Nature–a Mother’s Story, in the chapter called, Destiny, I recall my introduction to the family business:

The two rental properties my father owned when he married my mother would eventually over a span of twenty-five years snowball into nearly four hundred. Everybody had to earn their keep. I entered at the grass roots level, literally.

“Well, good afternoon.”

I peeled open an eye and looked at the clock on my nightstand. It was seven in the morning. Saturday morning. I closed my eye.

“Mornin’ Daddy. What do you want?”

“Sugar, I need you to get up and get dressed. I’m’ll have to drop you off at the apartments over on 16th. We’ve got to pull some weeds and pick up the cigarette butts and empty bottles in the yard. Get the place spruced up a bit.”

“Okay, but let me sleep one more hour,” I said snuggling further down into the warmth of my bed.

“One more hour? The day’s already almost over. You got to get up and get on it. Come on now. Get up and get your clothes on. I’ll be waiting for you in the kitchen. You want some breakfast?”

Reluctantly I threw the covers off and wiped the sleep from my nine-year-old eyes. Got to get up and get on it…

With the tips of my gloved fingers I picked up the cigarette butts, dirty tissues and empty cans and bottles and tossed them inside. Holding my breath I scraped dog poop with the tines of the rake onto the dustpan and dropped it in the bag. I had to get all that out of the way before I could start pulling weeds.

Over the years, I progressed from cleaning the yards and parking lots to filthy ovens and refrigerators. I quickly learned to scour dirty sinks and ring-rimmed bathtubs until they would look as though they’d been licked…

You can read more about Running an Apartment House Operation #101 in my book.

So here we are 10,000 years later and things haven’t changed. This is truly, unequivocally, unbelievable to me and it really grabs (sorry about that) me in my craw that, especially our mother with her 84 years, has to witness her property being treated this way. Thank goodness not everyone lives as though they raise their hands in the air and just don’t care.

The other day, I happened to look up and see this painting on a building near the grocery store. The quote is written in several languages across the facade–it is a universal thought indeed: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” I would like for the sake of today’s blog to add: “Others and their property.” It’s just so much easier to be decent in every sense of the word. Don’t you think?

Happy weekend everybody.

Here’s to life!