I'm serious. I emptied out the laundry/storage room, except for the washing machine because the faucet was too tightly attached, onto the porch and I noticed how well supplied I am. (Anyone who has read some of my comments, OK rants, on the various Pesah posts will wonder why I emptied out the entire room, almost. It needed spring cleaning as much as it did Pesah cleaning. One of my daughters asked if it was the ant room. I could only answer that it looked that way. It adjoins the kitchen and houses the microwave.) I looked at the selection of my worldly possessions arranged for cleaning on the porch and started to think about the rest of the house.
We should be thankful for what we have, even though we have to clean it all for Pesah. Some people don't have much to clean and I'm sure they'd readily accept the burden of cleaning along with a few more rooms, tables, chairs, helpful appliances etc. (Up to a point larger houses are easier to clean than cramped areas anyway.)
Then there are the kids. Are yours underfoot, hampering efforts to rid the house of hametz? Well thousands of childless couples would be happy to deal with that too. And they do grow up and start to help too. The six-month old who cried almost incessantly – no exaggeration – twelve years ago is now not only cleaning, but playing with her baby sister so that I can accomplish my tasks.
Is the kitchen a struggle? Be thankful that it's well supplied. Was there a lot of food that had to be either prepared and eaten quickly or wasted? Ask anyone who distributes food baskets how many families would welcome that problem. All there a lot of pots, pans and dishes to be stored and Pesah ones to be hauled out of storage? Be happy that you don't have to kasher pots or silverware and eat off of a small set of Pesah dishes. Ethics of the Father, 2:7, “increase possessions, increase worry,” comes to mind.
Are you rearranging shelves to accommodate food for Pesah, perhaps for a few guests, family or friends? Don't take either the purchasing or the hosting ability for granted. Perhaps you've been invited. Are you able to bring a nice holiday gift? That's not a given either.
Time to end the cleaning break! With half a cleaning day left before Shabbat HaGadol, about a day and a half left before bedikat hametz (that includes motzei Shabbat), and a few frantic hours of “I can't believe I forgot that!” after that, be'hatzlaha. Wishing everyone success in staying sane while finishing the last stage of Pesah cleaning. Have a kosher and happy Pesah – there's still time to say “THIS year in Jerusalem!”
Hadassa DeYoung, K'far Darom/Elon Moreh