An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Women of Augusta Can Arrange it All

The Women of Augusta Can Arrange it All
by Maria Novajosky, Guest Columnist

*published in the Columbia County News-Times/Augusta Chronicle
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Are you looking for someone to clean up the local government? Purge Washington politics? Organize our new health care system?
Well, just hire any woman from Augusta who, in preparing her home to rent during Masters Week, has turned spring cleaning into an art form. But let’s clarify: there’s spring cleaning, which is the obligatory airing out of any vestiges of winter, and then there’s Masters Spring Cleaning which is a complete overhaul of everything from attic to basement, and front porch to back patio.
This is the time of year when the words I can’t, I’m cleaning for Masters are the perfectly understandable excuse for bowing out of any social obligation, and in the weeks leading up to The Great Exodus the aisles of Bed, Bath & Beyond are a meeting place for friends and neighbors who are likewise pushing shopping carts piled high with pillows, sheets, and bathroom rugs.
In January we make lists, February we gather supplies, and by March we get down to the nitty-gritty. We purge closets, drawers, and cabinets; we sort clothes and toys; and we wipe and dust baseboards, ceiling fans, walls, stair risers, and door frames.
We attack dust bunnies with a vengeance and wage a war against yellow pollen. We turn Swiffer into an action verb, wash the washing machine, vacuum the curtains, and are on a first name basis with Mr. Clean and his Magic Erasers. And just to make sure husbands and children don’t un-do what we have just done, we lock doors as we go so that by the last night the kids are camped out in the rec room and everyone is sharing one bathroom.
Even childbirth can’t stop us.
One January I informed the Texas group who always rents our home that, because our third son was due just before Masters Week, we would have to opt out that year. Our son was just seven days old when a representative from the group called and begged us to reconsider.
His soft-spoken southern accent lulled me into a semi-hypnotic state reminding me of what I am capable. I forgot about my sleep deprivation, my infant who was nursing around the clock, the baby paraphernalia scattered everywhere, a husband who was out of town on business, and the fact that I would have only one week to prepare.
I can do this! I thought. And I did.
Super Women. That’s what we are.
Sometimes an exasperated husband or a smart aleck teen will ask if all this work really matters; that if we honestly believed that anyone who comes to Augusta to attend the golf tournament will judge us if there is dust on the baseboards or if the flatware drawer is in shambles.
Well, of course we do. What a silly question.

There is something about having people come stay in our home which brings out the southern hospitality in all of us. Just because we don’t see our guests doesn’t mean we don’t treat them as guests. After all, they are staying in our home and we want them – the strangers from Texas, Michigan, and even Japan – to think well of us!
To feel welcomed!

So we put flowers on nightstands and amenity baskets in the bathrooms.
We direct husbands to pressure wash driveways and children to spread pine straw.
We place neatly stacked towels in the linen closet and a luggage rack in each bedroom. Then we hang a spring wreath on the front door and put out a new welcome mat.

Arrange, categorize, purge, orchestrate, manage, conduct, administrate, and mobilize. The women of Augusta do all this and more.
Anything else is a walk in the park.
Maria Novajosky is a freelance writer and works for Catholic Stewardship Consultants. She can be reached at


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