Even my BFFs aren't safe from my storytelling efforts...
I love to travel though it's hard to leave my own farmhouse behind. I took a few days off recently and headed to visit a friend who has a house on Folly Beach, sheer bliss I promise you!
Bliss, except the moment I walked through the door my eyes began burning, an odd floral smell hovered strangely in the air.
Maggie, a friend of many years standing, handed me a glass of her truly famous sweet tea and we sat down to catch up. True to form, we hadn't been talking long before I scolded her for the cornucopia of chemical smells that greeted me at the door.
"Maggie" I quizzed her, "What in the world have you been cleaning with, the air in here is awful?!"
She hesitated. "I spent all morning getting the house ready, is it too overpowering? The kids were complaining that the house smelled like a flower factory."
We're such good friends I couldn't help myself.
"Clean? Maggie, honey, I can hardly breath in here. Show me what you've been using, don't you know how bad some of these things are for you?" I fussed.
With chagrin on her face she pulled open the door under the kitchen sink and pulled out an array of brightly labeled bottles.
Counter sprays with bleach that promised to smell like lavender, deodorizing sprays with orchids trailing around the label. Even a box of plug-in fresheners announcing a Hawaiian breeze would fill the house as soon as you plugged it in, I got a headache just handling the package.
"I know you don't like chemicals, I hope you brought me a some of your new cleaner? Is it really good for cleaning everything? I was using up what I had on hand, is the smell too awful? Even poor Henry was sneezing earlier."
"Poor Henry", her chocolate lab gave me a woeful look. His coat looked awful and he had been under the table chewing and scratching nonstop as we talked. The beginnings of a hot spot were clearly visible on his side, advertising some kind of skin trouble afoot.
"Good grief Maggie! It's not just the smell, this stuff is SO bad for you! Don't you ever read the labels? No wonder you have such issues with allergies! Even Henry is having problems, don't you worry about breathing in all this stuff every day?" true to form, I launched into full blown mother-hen mode.
(No wonder even her dog has to have allergy treatments!)
"I know, I know, but I wanted everything to be perfect for your visit" she exclaimed as she peered belatedly at the scary sounding ingredients in each product.
"I promise your house will be cleaner and smell wonderful without having to use all this and be MUCH safer for you, let's get rid of this stuff before you hurt somebody with it!".
Agatha's Amazing Peppermint Cleaner to the rescue!
Maggie and I are sitting at her kitchen table a few days later, having a cup of coffee before I headed back home (by the way, Maggie makes great sweet tea but I make better coffee). Her eyes are shining with amusement and several bottles of Agatha's cleaner are positioned statically through the house, from the kitchen to bathroom to the laundry.
"Well my friend, I always thought you were incredible, but you really are amazing! Where do you dream up such amazing products? I LOVE this stuff! Who would believe my house would look spotless and I would look forward to using a cleaning product?
"I told you it was fantastic Maggie, It really is wonderful isn't it? Better still, it's so much safer for you."
I beamed as she continued on enthusiastically.
"It's got the most invigorating smell, I feel like I've gone to the gym ever time I use it! Even the kids are raving about how good everything smells." I pointed at Henry. "See, Henry isn't scratching as much either Maggie, you know, all that stuff was bad for him too."
Her eyes widened as she stroked the big dog's head. "Gosh, I never even thought about Henry, I sprayed his bed every day to get rid of the doggie smell, poor guy, no wonder he's been so miserable!"
"I'm sending Henry a care package from Agatha just as soon as I get home" I promised. "He needs to be on probiotics for those allergies, our shampoo and conditioner would help him not be so itchy too. I've even got a product to keep him AND his bed smelling good too, it's called Fur Freshener and if you just spray him and his bedding,,,"
My enthusiastic discourse slid to a halt and as we both burst out laughing and I apologized.
"Maggie, you know I can't help myself! I'm on a mission to change the world one dog at a time!" I hugged her and Henry too as I walked out the door with my suitcase,
"Watch for the mailman Henry, Agatha will send your mom some goodies for you as soon as we get home and if you see her buy anything else besides Agatha's to clean with call me and I'll come rescue you!"
Maggie hugged me back, "No worries there sweetie. You know you're already my best friend and I love you to bits but I've just become an even bigger fan, send me a CASE of that peppermint wonder cleaner just as soon as you get home! No more fake flower factories for this family, right Henry?!?"
As I slid behind the wheel of my little car I swear Henry threw me an grateful look, who knows? Maybe even our dogs appreciate natural cleaning goodness!
And for all the other Henrys out there? Agatha has a Coupon Code to try her Peppermint Cleaner for yourself!
Adorable watercolors by Vianneart!