The sun made an appearance today and what a welcome sight it was. And finally, the air isn’t grossly humid!
Someone said to me a few months back that they adored old, musty southern houses. As do I, except when I have to live in one the month of September. Our house, like many others in this neighborhood, doesn’t have central AC. We find we only wish we had it a few days in July and then again in September, when the muggies really set in. This month, it has been grey and muggy since Labor Day. We’ve had I can’t even remember how many inches of rain this month, but for the last few weeks, we haven’t gotten anything significant. It’s just been foggy every morning, grey all day and oh, so humid. We’ve had to close the house up and run the window units we use during those July days just to keep the musty smell at bay. Thankfully, everyone I know says their house smells musty these days, so I feel slightly better about things.
Despite this, I’m pretty sure our dining room is ground zero for odor and what I call ‘mildew dust’. It gets absolutely no natural light and has no air circulation, so the dust starts turning a bit blue and growing things this time of year. We inherited my grandparent’s dining room furniture – and they were smokers, and we spent years getting the smell and the stains out of the furniture. Every September, the dining room really starts to exhibit a certain odor that isn’t smoky, but isn’t entirely musty either. Sunday morning I woke up and realized I couldn’t take the smell anymore, so I did my annual scrub down – where I wipe all the furniture down, everything gets moved and not only do I vacuum, but I break out the bleach, and use it to wipe down the baseboards. This year I even pulled all my linens out – tablecloths, placemats, napkins, etc, etc – and washed them. I have tried using baking soda and vinegar to absorb odors and they help, but not enough. Recently I read that leaving coffee grinds out helps – so I’m trying that. It’s slightly working. This year has definitely been worse than usual. Pat & I have been tag teaming scrubbing the house down – having done Edie’s room while she was at camp, we were quite relieved to discover the smell developing over the weekend in her room was merely a pair of wet soccer socks thrown in her laundry basket, left to steep.
This morning the fog seemed especially thick, and with the forecast calling for more showers, I really started to feel like this weather was never going to lift. Worse, I noticed the smell coming back. The smell I thought we’d scrubbed and laundered out…….and then, suddenly, the sun came out. And stayed out all afternoon. I noticed the air outside was cool AND dry. So I opened the house up and let in fresh air, first time in weeks. And suddenly, the house smells….normal again.
Yay. Thank you sun.