PREMISE I: After 25 years of being a mom who has been extremely tied to whatever property she lived in because she shouldered the ENTIRE burden of its upkeep with only small amounts of help from the other occupants (they were, after all, children—and very sweet ones at that!), Alice Haddow is ready for a major change. She is happy to be a mom, but not happy to be everyone’s indentured servant. A move to our new home is the signal that this part of her life has come to an end. It will be wonderful!
PREMISE II: CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS—AND SO IS NEATNESS (at least in the mind of Alice Haddow). Neatness is a very important part of protecting our huge financial investment in Poppy’s Place (the semi-official designation of our new home in deference to the adoring name my children have given to my husband). It will also protect Alice Haddow’s sanity.
PREMISE III: The rules you will read below may come across as a bit dogmatic. I extend my apologies if this is the case. I do not want to sound dogmatic. But I do want to be taken seriously.
PREMISE IV: I have never liked having to be anybody’s boss. But I do like respect, especially respect for my time. These rules are written in an attempt to engender that.
PREMISE V: Expectations are best met if they are spelled out in advance. Grandma Davis emphasized this many years ago, and proof of its truth can be found in the no-shoes-on-the-light-carpet rule referenced in the document below. Grandma instructed me to be very specific before day one at our new home in Chantilly, Virginia where we moved in 1981. Grandma was right.
PREMISE VI: All of us were great friends in the premortal life. I’m certain that all of us treated each other with respect and worked cooperatively so that no one person shouldered too much of a burden. I believe our life at Poppy’s Place can rekindle that same sort of helpful friendship. What I really want is for us to be a team.
With these premises in mind, I have created the following list of AHHG rules. Some are very specific; some are generalized principles for extended-stay adults. This list of rules is not intended to be a literary masterpiece. In fact, a former professor of mine at BYU, Don Norton, would no doubt express his great disappointment at this document’s frequent departure from standards of educated usage.
Nonetheless, adults who can read English should have no trouble understanding the meaning of the rules. And, yes, they are “rules,” not “guidelines.” For reasons that must be obvious, I have avoided words that might be construed as euphemisms.