I swear there used to be a song with these lyrics about a chimney sweeper, but I don’t remember. Today was a big day and the chimney sweeper was scheduled to come by this morning. It must have been thirty some years since I last have seen one, so naturally it was a big deal for me. I hope it wasn’t the reason as to why I couldn’t sleep and was still awake at 2AM, but you never know. I got up at 7 and tinkered around the house for awhile. Around 10AM, the door bell rang and I hit the buzzer. “Hello, chimney sweeper here” I heard the young man announce himself while entering the house. He was dressed all in black, the only thing that was slightly off, was that the top hat (somehow I thought he would wear a top hat) was replaced by a black beanie. He smiled as I said Hi back and after I immediately reached out to shake his hand. I didn’t even think about him covered in black soot, but I had to make a good first impression. It’s not every day you see a chimney sweeper and I had a little bit of an agenda, I have to admit. He came upstairs and inquired about Mom and it appeared that he missed her being here. He said that he always enjoys her company and to please tell her to get well soon. I thought that it was very sweet of him and saw it as the perfect moment to announce my agenda.
“I have an unusual request and a silly question” I said. He looked surprised but reassured me that there are no silly questions and to ask away. “Do you think that I could take a picture of you when all this is said and done. It’s kind of a big deal for me to see a chimney sweeper and Mom will be happy as well”. He smiled again, saying “of course, we will take care of it at the end”.
Further up the attic he went and although I didn’t follow to see him work, I could hear the sweeping inside the chimney just fine. All the way down in the cellar was were the two little metal doors are located for both chimneys. He unlocked one at a time and carefully loaded his little shovel full of soot, and then emptying it into a small metal bucket. And of course it was black as well. All done, we were still laughing at the adventures of this old house, and my own journey of what it’s been like with the frozen pipe etc. Good thing I can look back and laugh about the nightmare now. From camping inside the house, to the standing water which by now had recited a little bit but was still there, and how nice and cool it was down in the cellar in the summer month. I still didn’t care to be down there, I’d rather sweat and deal with the cobwebs and creepy rounded torture like, ancient space full of crawlers. All there was left to do was take a picture in full armor with tools and all. He was such a good sport about it and I swear I will print the picture out, and hang it on the chimney for him to take the next time a sweep is due.
Even more unusual and without knowing it prior, there are many tales about chimney sweepers bringing good fortune and wealth. It is also said that it will bring good luck to shake the hand of a chimney sweeper. I usually don’t shake hands as a form of greeting with a handyman or a stranger like that. Even more unusual with someone that is covered in black soot, not that I’m afraid of getting dirty. I didn’t care and my hand was extended before I even realized what happened. What exactly did happen and how did it happen? Did my conscience know about the tale of shaking the hand of a chimney sweeper? Was that what the excitement was all about, why I didn’t sleep the night before and was there some luck that was waiting to be evoked? I know the skeptics might thing this is a ridiculous thought, but something sticks her for me and I like the ring this has to it. What can say “I’m a dreamer”