Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

I have four vacuum cleaners, five if you count the one I keep in the back of my vehicle. Some of you may think that qualifies me as a clean freak, and if that is what you want to think, fine by me.

It does not bother me one little bit to be compared to the Felix Unger types. What is wrong with wanting everything tidied up and clean?

I do not mean to be bragging, but cleanliness is next to godliness, right?

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Unfortunately, I do fear that there are those that might be less than impressed with my borderline OCD tendencies.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had repair men look at me like I am crazy when I ask them to take their shoes off before they come in my house. I know, it could be a little irksome for them to keep taking their shoes on and off when they go to and from the house to their trucks to retrieve a needed part, but really, those tire-tread-like soles on the bottom of their boots are like a sanctuary for mud and dirt to gather.

Once, I gave a pair of disposable booties to one worker. I noticed his boots laced half way up his leg, and I feared there might be retribution if I asked him to repeatedly remove his boots.

FYI, the booties are a one-size-fits-all, and I found them at the hardware store.

It baffles me that wearing these booties is not a requirement for those having to do inside jobs.

I would love to say that it is just the technicians who are annoyed with my rules, but unfortunately, there have also been a few sneers from my daughters’ male visitors.

One poor little boy friend looked mortified when my daughter told him everyone has to take their shoes off at the back door. Poor guy, he had a hole in his sock, and I think he was a little embarrassed.

I have tried to be more laid back when it comes to cleaning, but it is in my genes, and not only is my mother’s house immaculate, some of my married-in family members also value a spick and span home.

Like me, my sister-in-law sometimes leaves her vacuum out and on call for work at a moments notice. I remember one time after she purchased a new beautiful canister style vacuum, she told me my brother said that if it has to sit out all the time, at least it looks like a piece of furniture.

I think he and I share a humor gene!

As for genetic traits, my children have other ideas for how to spend their time besides cleaning all the time, so in order to assure that they dust their homes occasionally, I have a plan.

It is my desire to be cremated, so I told them I would gladly divide my ashes between the four of them. I suggested they each put their share of my remains in a beautiful oriental urn, and once a week they could remember all the good times they had with me while dusting off the vessel.

Without any hesitation, my oldest daughter immediately looked at her siblings and said, “I think we should just dump her on the floor and vacuum her up. It’s where she would be most at home.”

For Pete’s sake, I hope it is at least a good-looking vacuum model!

Terri Cowart Frazier is a reporter and can be reached by email at or by phone at 601-636-4545.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart