My husband is coming home today! He’s been away on a business trip for a whole week and he’s due back today. This is wonderful news. My hubby…home. But now it’s go time.

The only cleaning power I’ve been able to muster up these past few muggy days has been reserved for dishes and laundry only. Just enough to keep complete chaos at bay—at a low hum. But now it’s time to haul out the heavy artillery: the vacuum, the mop and the bleach. Not to mention the shampoo, the makeup and the hairspray.

You see, I’ve gone without make-up or styled hair for days now. (And this has been a sobering discovery: I need make-up. I actually do need it. A dab of gloss and a swish of mascara just won’t cut it anymore. I actually need that fleshy colored syrup in order to create a “canvas.” Oh, what happened to my canvas?

When I was little, my summers consisted of my mother making us do a few minimal chores in the morning, then she’d take us to the beach all afternoon. Once we were home again and our little bodies were pronounced “sand free,” she’d let us stretch out on the warm carpet and watch her stories with her. We’d all be lazing about like cats, exhausted from the sun, when she’d look up at the clock and holler, “Places, everyone! Places!”

That meant dad would be pulling into the driveway any minute. Time to look productive!

“I’ll get some onions sautéing! You! Pick up those toys! You! Throw those towels in the washer! And you! Start practicing that piano! Let’s go, go, go!”

That’s us right now. My husband’s plane touches down in a matter of hours and there are toys strewn everywhere! My bathrooms are in desperate need of some Comet and a scrub brush and I can’t seem to find the extra vacuum bags!! There are still wet towels in the van steaming up the windows with their chlorinated vapors, and the master bedroom looks more like a story time slumber party zone than a marital retreat. Nothing like a little time crunch to get us hopping!

My Aunt used to plead, “If everyone will just give me 10 minutes!” My friend’s mom used to call this hurried cleaning frenzy “The Blitz.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s here.

Sweetie, if you’re reading this, see if you could ask the pilot to circle the tarmac a couple of laps to, you know, buy me some time. I’m sure the other passengers won’t mind a bit.

It’s always nice to come home to a clean canvas.