Matt brushed at the sand collecting on the couch cushions.
“This is awful!” he exclaimed. “The dogs are tracking in mud every time they go outside. This place is filthy!”
I knew it was time to tell Matt. I sat down next to him, and took a deep breath.
“Since you are a relative newcomer to the house, I think it’s time we had a talk,” I said, gently placing my hand on his leg for emphasis. “In my home, there are only two seasons: dirt and dirt-free. In the fall and spring, the dogs track in all sorts of mud and sand. The trade off is that when the snow falls, and in the summer when the grass grows, we get a reprieve.”
Matt looked at me like I was a crazy woman.
“You want me to get used to this?” he asked, incredulous.
“Winter’s just a couple weeks away,” I said, looking out the front window. “Snow is just around the corner.”
Just then we heard an explosive boom, followed by what seemed like a zillion pieces of hail landing on the kitchen floor. As I ran to the hallway I just about tripped over Lexie, who was uncharacteristically moving fast. Her feet slipped on the wood floor as her momentum pushed her past me.
I glanced into the kitchen, and saw the wreckage of her run. She had cut the corner by the stove a bit too close, and made a direct hit on Charlie’s puppy kibble. That was the boom. When she hit the bowl, it sent pieces of food throughout the kitchen like confetti.
Charlie didn’t miss a beat. He arrived within seconds, and authoritatively surveyed the scene. He gave a couple quick sniffs, and quickly came up with a game plan. He would start from the outside, and work his way back toward the bowl.
Seeing Charlie had a plan of attack, I returned to Matt on the couch.
“Do I even want to know what happ…” he started to say. I put up my hand and told him I had the situation under control. If I had any luck, Charlie would have the mess cleaned up by the time I was finished convincing Matt the snow fairy would visit that evening.
Matt grabbed the broom, which has taken a permanent spot in our living room during dirt season, and started sweeping at the tsunami of sand at my feet.
“Look!” he said pointing down at a small pile of sand. “I’ve only taken one swipe, and look at all of that dirt!”
I felt the confession would be enough. That it’s just the way our house operates. Dirt season stinks, but there’s no way around it, aside from wiping the dogs’ paws each time they come in. With a dog door, that’s nearly impossible.
But it was too much for Matt. He was unprepared. It was clear I should have briefed him weeks before. But now we were blinded by a sandstorm in our own home.
I took the broom, and finished sweeping the room. I didn’t mention that it was my third time sweeping that day.
And when Matt wasn’t looking, I said a small prayer for snow.