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Autumn is almost upon us, and the signs are everywhere.
Leaves falling.
Ripe nuts and fruit dropping from almost every tree in the neighborhood.
Add to that the usual lawn detritus of grass clippings and fiendishly concealed animal droppings, and it all quickly builds into a noxious pile of organic matter that finds its way into my home.

I cringe every time I step on one of those marble-sized bombs, consisting of a bumper crop of crab-apples, Japanese dogwood berries, pygmy pears, and who-knows-what-else.

During this benighted time of year, I am forced to clean my walkway, my dog, and mudroom on the average 3 times a day — the walkway before I walk my dog, my shoes, the dog’s paws, and linoleum afterwards. And we still somehow manage to track in grass, leaves, mangled corpses of squished fruit, and whatever crud their juices sponge up onto my shoes.

I am by no means a demigod of domesticity, despite the fact that throughout my formative years, I was allergic to everything – dust, mold, mildew, animal dander, and more. My poor Mom had to clean-clean-clean when she wasn’t exhausted from holding down two jobs. Fortunately, my dog was one of those breeds that doesn’t shed, otherwise I think she would have bleached the pooch.

I thank God I have outgrown my allergies and asthma, otherwise I would be forced to continue that unfortunate tradition. These days, I break out the vacuum cleaner once a fortnight (or less), resorting to bucket and mop when I must — far less often than my Mom ever did…
But these Fall invaders of muck and mire have me cleaning far more often than I care to think about.

This season, with nature relentlessly dumping its dirt upon us, reminds me of a pithy bit of humorous wisdom a co-worker imparted, during a tour of a Silicon Valley clean room, where super-clean “bunny-suits” and air-purifiers abounded.

“There is no such thing as ‘perfectly clean.’
There is only the level of dirt you’re willing to tolerate.”

OK — I admit it. I can’t think of even the most tenuous segway (segue) from the subject of cleanliness to the topic of my books. So here’s this blog entry’s blatant bit of self-promotion…
Buy my books!