Pesach cleaning is usually a drag. The concept of destroying every last chometz (leaven) particle from the house prior to the Pesach (Passover) holiday is symbolic of destroying the puffiness, or haughtiness in our own egos. At least that's what we're told to make us feel better about getting on our hands and knees scrubbing for hours at a stretch.
My own cleaning usually goes long into the night before Pesach. But this year, S., my wife2B, came over and lent me a helping hand. She's small and versatile, and can get to spots I could never reach...
Like on the countertops.
At one point, I came back to find a hand protruding from my fridge.
Looked in side, to find...
So, we finished at 11PM (a reasonable hour.) Then, the search for chometz began. This usually involves the children searching the house for ten little bits of chometz wrapped in paper. There is a little bracha (blessing) you say at the beginning of the search, and the children run through the house with candles finding them one by one. At the end, all of the chometz is nullified, and the next morning it is burned. Of course, Judaism doesn't really account for the older single living alone, like me. Traditionally people stayed home until bar mitzvah, and for some yeshivah, and then they were married and making more children right away.
For the past decade, I've been forced to go through this ridiculous ritual where I hide the chometz from myself, then say the bracha, then find it right away. Eventually it turned into this wrote recitation:
1. Throw the chometz bits on the table.
2. "Barucha blah blah.."
3. Find the chometz on the table.
4. "Barucha blah blah..."
5. Throw them on the fire the next morning.
Of course, this year, I had S. to hide it from me, and we did a little "warmer colder" game. It was the first time I have actually smiled during my Pesach cleaning and chometz destructon since, well, forever.