Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Finally. The sunshine that was supposed to be here on Thursday arrived today. Seems to mean business, too. It’s not wishy-washy like it was yesterday when it only teased us by peeking between gray clouds intermittently.

It’s already 77°. After all the rain we’ve had lately, one can almost hear the grass growing. And oh, is it green? Such a beautiful bright shade of green! Everything looks so fresh and clean. 

The month of May is almost gone. Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. She passed away almost seven years ago. I miss her most at this time of year. She loved it. To her, warm, sunny weather meant tearing up the house and cleaning it from stem to stern. As a child, I hated it. So did my father.

On a sunny day like today, when we heard her say, “Oh my, this bright sunshine shows up all the dirt,” we’d look at each other and grimace. We knew what was coming.

For at least two weeks, the whole house would be a maze of boxes and clutter that was almost impossible to get through as my mother painted, cleaned out closets, rearranged kitchen cabinets, scrubbed the inside and outside of the refrigerator and range, cleaned windows, washed and ironed every curtain in the house, shampooed carpets and waxed floors.

When it was all finished, my father and I were exhausted, but Mother was still energetic and oh, so proud of her sparkling clean house.

As a result of my mother’s cleanliness mania, I never “spring clean.” That is to say, my whole house is never torn up at once! I wouldn’t be able to stand it. It’s one room at a time, or nothing. And if I can’t get it all done in one day, forget it. I can’t tolerate the confusion for days on end.

Today, I smile as I think of my mother. She’d almost certainly be saying, “Oh my, this sunshine shows up all the dirt. I’d better get busy!”

Happy Sunny Weekend!


Anonymous said...

My mother was like that too. I know exactly what you mean. I'm like you. One room at a time and not necessarily in the spring. I do it whne I feel like it.

sally said...

I don't think people do that anymore. I remember my grandmother tearing up the whole house in the spring. My mother never did. and neither do I. Nice memories you have though. thanks for sharing them.

sam said...

Very nice remembrance of your mother peg. kinda brought tears to my eyes. sam

Anonymous said...

The sun does seem to bring out dirt you didn't know was there but I hate cleaning and would never tear up the house like yuor mom did. Good post though.

GrandmaS said...

Thanks, Peg, for reminding us that houses have to be cleaned up - in spring or at least sometime - or else we find ourselves living in unappealing surroundings. I remember my grandmother's - my mother's mother - spring cleaning ritual. It was fearsome, and no one in her large family, including grandchildren, was excused from strict compliance. All delegated tasks were rigorously overseen like the WWI-time nurse she was, and everything had to be completed in just a few days. My mom also did some - not so painstaking - spring cleaning but she did it one room at a time over a about a month. She asked for and not ordered help and enlisted only my Dad, my sister and me. I tend to follow my mother's more relaxed spring cleaning procedures. The problem is that I don't have any recruits other than my husband, and he’s only sometimes available. So, needless-to-say, I take my time getting the job done.