God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Spring House Cleaning
When I was a girl...we cleaned everything in sight. Those were the days of coal furnaces and things got dirty. We didn't have washers and dryers...so clothing was worn longer without laundering and needed airing. No ventilation fans in the kitchen made for a greasy wall behind the stove. We needed to clean it all. I remember my Mom wearing her house dress, a cobbler apron, and a babushka on her head and I can't forget her penny loafers. She would plan this event for spring vacation...when I was home from school. She would wake me in the early morning and we would start out by taking all the things out of the closets and hang them on the clothesline to air out. Next came the curtains and drapes. The draperies would be aired and the sheers washed and put on wooden stretchers...outside to dry. We didn't have wall to wall carpet, but big area rugs. Those would be rolled up and dragged out the door. The smaller ones were hung on the line so I could beat the dust out of them with a rug beater. (a favorite job of mine) She would make up a batch of her own cleaner...ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda mixed with water in a bucket. Then she brought out the bottle of oil for the furniture. It was a mixture of olive oil and lemon.
She would hand me a bucket and I would start in my bedroom. First, dust down the walls, wash the windows, dust the baseboards, dust mop the floor,clean out the closets, make the bed with fresh bed linens and then shut the door and move on to my Mom and Dad's room. While I was doing the bedrooms...Mom was in the kitchen. Sometimes my Dad would have washed the walls before we started. Everything in the kitchen got a cleaning. The counter tops were linoleum and they were waxed. The drawers were all wiped out and the cupboards as well. Sometimes we put new shelf paper in them, but this was done after the cleanup. We would stop for a treat once in a while. Those were the days of those little coke bottles. I would get a juice glass and Mom would share her coke. I think the caffeine in the coke gave us a jump start to carry one. We had music on the radio and once in a while we stopped to hear one of Mom's soap operas. She got so wrapped up in them...you'd think that the characters were her family members.The kitchen was the hardest room to do...so many places to clean. She would save the stove and fridge for later on. We had a little lunch...my favorite would be kidney bean salad and a piece of toast and whipped jello for dessert. Sometimes we would have lunch in the living room, using the coffee table... while we sat on the floor.....listening to her radio shows. Getting back to work...we did the living room and dining room.
Our house was sparsely furnished...so it was easy. Mom polished the tops of tables and I scooted around on my fanny, doing the legs. The windows were washed and walls dusted before we polished. Later in the day we head out to the back yard..... the sagging clothesline full of clothes.We carried the clothes in first. In those days...we didn't have the amount of clothes that our closets hold today. Just a few outfits and coats. We brought in the dried curtains and rehung them. The drapes were hung too. The throw rugs were beaten and the big rug was brought in and put on the floor.We were done...whew! We both were so tired. As I look back, I think that Mom still fixed a big meal for us on those nights. She always said, "Your Dad works hard for us...I want to make him a nice meal." These are memories of mine...as I write this post, I keep remembering more things. I grew up this way...I helped out and didn't expect any payment. It was part of living in our home...we all pitched in to keep it nice. Cleaning day was off limits to my friends. No playing that day. I know that they were home helping out too. It's so much easier today. I seldom hear about people spring house cleaning. Just wondering...how do you keep everything clean? Do you set aside a special day for it?
I'll tell you how I do it at my house tomorrow.