Stock brokers and tycoons brag about how hard they work. But they probably can’t match Marilyn Englander’s sister.
My sister is an artist who lives in a mountain town where people vacation. Few artists manage to make a living creating beauty, and my sister is no exception. She has a “day job” to support herself. She cleans vacation homes.
She enjoys solitude for thinking about her art, so the work suits her. But the job is grindingly hard.
One winter morning when I was visiting, I went along with my sister to clean. Paid a set rate for each house, she has to hustle to fit in two big ones a day.
At the first house we lugged heavy bags of towels and sheets up three flights of stairs. In five bathrooms, we were on hands and knees disinfecting tub and toilet, then doing touch-your-toes up and down the shower walls. We mopped floors, then skated around with rags on our feet to dry them. Vacuums buzzed upstairs and down.