It may happen some day that you are sitting quietly knitting, reading a good novel, 1 and you suddenly think to yourself, “Life is real, life is earnest. I should not be so idle.”

Obviously, you try first to resist this thought. You remind yourself that the writer of the book has worked very hard to entertain you. Should you allow all that hard work to be for naught?

You may even remind yourself that you normally work quite hard yourself, and that you are entitled to a certain amount of lolling about. “They also serve,” you might misquote to yourself, “who only sit and knit.”

You might think about the scarf you are knitting, and its value, and the number of hours you would have to work to purchase a garment of equivalent 1 quality for your son.

With this and other sophistry, you might be able to give up the feeling that you ought to be doing something more exciting, or at least more productive.

But perhaps mere willpower will not be sufficient. If that is the case, I have the solution: go clean your pantry. After you do that, you will be delighted to return to your lolling about.

That is what I did.

I know that some of my readers are scornful of my messes, but I feel that the pantry was messy enough to satisfy the most severe of my critics, and it took me an hour of serious work to get it decent.

Especially the high shelf, which I can’t really reach. That is why I keep all the vases and the silver epergne up there. That is also why the vases end up in other places; I am not tall enough to return them without some significant effort.

1 So I made the effort. My pantry is clean and tidy.

It may need some more groceries in it, but they will have a nice home to go to when and if I ever get around to buying some.

After doing that, I was able to return to the scarf and finish it contentedly. Today I get back to work, and this evening I have rehearsals for choir and bells. My husband also went back to work this morning, thank goodness, and #1 son will also be back at work. Fond as I am of them, I have to admit that it is easier for me to work without a background of kung fu movies and Dragon Ball Z games.

In addition to work, you will want to prepare for Twelfth Night with some more good Epiphany carols.

Allow me to offer you “De Tierra Lejana Venimos.” This is a very pretty song from Puerto Rico, about following the star and seeing the King of Kings and all that. It has a fine dramatic sound to it, so you could dance to it with a rose in your teeth if you are not bothering with Epiphany.

Here are the words for it in English. I think it would sound good with guitar and trumpet.