Monday, November 11, 2013

sweeping up

With the state of my house, it seems easiest to begin the cleaning at the front door.

While I was away at camp, I asked my husband to take the time he usually uses with the dog, to sweep the street by our house. This is a daily task that doesn't take but a few minutes. (Well, sometimes neighbors stop to chat, adding to the time in a pleasant way)

Actually, though we call this a "street", it is little more than a path about the width of my outspread arms. As with even wider streets that can accommodate vehicles larger than two passing bicycles, the streets in Tokyo have no names.
(only larger avenues have names or numbers and those names can sometimes change at a crossroads or become confusing).

As soon as I returned, I suspected the street had never been swept. It is interesting that the clean street stays clean but with the path left covered in leaves,   passers-by begin to drop other things. First it is cigarette butts. (We are about that far from the nearest cigarette machine). Next, it is wrappers from assorted items ... candy or other packages. Then comes the bigger stuff ... drink cups from McDonalds or Starbucks ... yes, we are about that far from there ... then shopping bags and bigger items.

After little more than a week, it was clear that no cleaning had been done just by what was festooning the street ans shrubbery.

The task is not a hard one ... actually quite pleasant and rewarding. A breath of fresh air, and a job that stays longer than sweeping up dog hair inside.

The total amount fits nicely in my little handy dust pan... dirt from the construction site, persimmon leaves from the garden to the north, and the usual contribution from our plum tree.

While I am at it, I sweep the street in front of both the house to the south and the one to the north ... not as a service, but if I don't do it today, it will be in front of my wall tomorrow.

I also trim the ends of the pink-headed knot weed,
which I do not consider a weed. It tends to get crushed by passing bikes but is easy to keep neat with a pair of scissors.

Now, back inside, I am faced with the real challenge. I can put it off a few minutes by playing with my blog... but time has come to get going if I am to meet my self-imposed deadlines.



  1. I must agree with you. A clean street stays clean. I have seen it time and time again in many locations. Definitely worth the small amount of time it takes.

  2. Wow, those words tell of some serious stitching very soon, love the flower and plant arrangement, the drooping grassy leaves perfect with the tiles. Cheers from Jean.

  3. Yes, why is it that one wrongly parked bicycle, tossed cigarette butt, coffee paper cup always multiply, and so quickly? Actually this can happen inside the home as well, newspapers and odd socks pile up. A place for everything and everything in its place is a good mantra!

  4. deep breath ..hold it .. slowly let it go ... and off you go xx

  5. It's so pretty right outside your house!! Thanks for sharing the photos. :D

    Did you get started on your next project?

  6. I like it when cleaning projects are done and things are tidy again - just a few minutes a day sometimes is all it takes to keep things nice. I like sweeping the deck - looks nice and a bit of outdoor fresh air. But truly I don't mind any kind of cleaning.