During the last few days while the sun was shining and one could tell with certainty that Spring was approaching, I had a few minutes of reflection in my days. It happened to me as I was sitting and having coffee while gazing out of the one of three big windows that are in my kitchen eating area. You see, these windows were quietly screaming to be cleaned after the harsh winter that they have just gone through. This time of reflection and the dirty windows, led me to thinking back over the Springtimes of my life.
"Springtime" as a child and a young teen meant...Spring house cleaning. Now some of you, perhaps many of you may ask, "what is that and what does it involve?"
Spring house cleaning for our family and many of the families in our community and county, meant that you stripped each room of your house to the bare bones, and scrubbed everything! By everything, I mean...
...putting all the furniture into the middle of the room and scrubbing behind it all.
...removing all of the cushions from the sofas and chairs and vaccuming them thoroughly.
...removing all of the curtains from the windows, washing, and ironing them. Washing every window and shining them until not one spot was to be found. My mother was quite the inspector! If I remember correctly she would use my dad's old undershirts and vinegar mixed with water, to clean the windows...inside and out. Then those spotlessly cleaned and ever so perfectly starched curtains would be hung back on the rods.
...every light fixture would be cleaned. Every rug would be washed. On a sidenote to this...when she was a teenager in her home, her dad would carry out all of their rugs, hang them over the wash lines and beat them with a broom. They did not have vaccum cleaners so this was one of their Spring routines.
...in our kitchen, we would remove everything from all the cupboards, wipe out every cupboard with hot water and soap, make sure everything was clean to put back in the cupboards and organize it all.
...this was done in every room of our home...every Spring, without exception.
I grew up with a mother who to this day, knows what CLEAN is, and that is due to her mother who also knew what the word CLEAN meant. And me...well, after years of helping my mother, and summers spent helping my grandma clean her home, I quess I know that clean concept too, although I must admit Spring housecleaning is now only a part of my past.
Yes, it is the gloriously beautiful time of the year when all nature is coming alive. And, yes I have been reminded that my windows do need to be cleaned. But...my world has changed, and the concept of Spring housecleaning does not create the feeling of dread that it used to in my younger days, because it is no longer a part of my days.
My mother did tell me that this cleaning concept originated with the fact that the homes were all heated each winter, with coal stoves. The stoves created a black type dirt over the entire home, thus creating the crucial need for the annual Spring housecleaning.
Was this a part of your childhoods? Or, was it only in our part of the country?
This beautiful African violet does not have anything to do with Spring housecleaning, but I thought I 'd share this photo with you to let you in on another small nugget of info about me. I cannot grow these plants!!!
A dear lady at our church gave this lovely, treasured violet to me. She said it has become her good friend and she wants me to have it. I shuddered at that thought, but graciously accepted her kind offer. She included very specific instructions on it's daily care.
In a few short weeks, it was quite obvious that she had made a huge mistake...the African violet was near death. She requested that I give it back to her and that she would revive it. So that is what I did. When she got it back to vibrant health again, she insisted that I try again. Second time did not work either for me. All that to say...I was not created to raise African violets, no matter how much instruction I may receive.
It is Monday morning and I have so much work waiting to be done. I am so thankful for the sun that is shining, the warmer tempetures and for each one of you who takes the time to stop by and visit this blog. Whether you do Spring housecleaning every year or not...whether you raise shelves of thriving African violets or not...I appreciate you and your visits more than you could know.
Wishing you a profittable and rewarding day!