The National Fire Protection Association offers safety tips here for summer grilling. Some of the advice is obvious: Place the grill a safe distance from play areas. Really? Putting the grill under the swing set is a bad idea? Huh. Who knew? Oh, yeah, everyone.
But, some of the tips are helpful reminders: Clean drip trays to avoid flare-ups. Oh yeah, the drip tray. Where is that, again?
I always need to be reminded to clean up. When I was a kid, my poor mom was constantly begging me to clean my room. Now, my husband is constantly reminding me to clean that lint tray in the dryer. Arg. Wouldn't it be nice if magic fairies cleaned up after us? I know my mom would think so because she was always accusing me of believing in such things.
Anyway, cleaning — however icky — is important. Here are some tips for cleaning up your backyard before a big party. Now cleaning for a specific purpose — someone is going to gossip about you if you don't — is something I completely understand. It's the everyday tidying up that drive me nuts. Fortunately for my future party guests, I have a lot of experience with backyard cleaning. My dad made me spend countless hours one summer picking stones out of a dirt patch so he could grow vegetables. Poor 11-year-old me didn't even like vegetables. My dad swears this was a one-weekend project, but it seemed like an entire summer to me.