Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cleaniness or clutter

 It's March ! That means spring is on the way for sure. Throw open the windows and let the warmth come in. Spring means, spring cleaning. Do you do spring cleaning ? I can remember when I was very small my grandmother doing her spring cleaning. That meant washing all the curtains, dusting everything and the big chore, beating the rugs ! All the rugs would be taken outside and hung either over the clothesline or the fence depending upon size and weight. Then they were given a good beating to knock out all the sand and dust. They would be left out there while the floor was being scrubbed. Even though I was small I can remember beating on those rugs, seemed like a lot of fun for a kid. Nana, as we called her, had a big wire rug beater. She also had what she called a hoover, a big old heavy vacuum cleaner that she seldom if ever used. She wasn't much on those modern electrical devices. She didn't use an electric iron either. Flat irons heated on the cook stove was used to press those curtains, and everything else for that matter. The windows would be washed inside and out.
 My mother did spring cleaning but on a smaller scale. She beat a few area rugs, more for sentimental reasons than anything else, I think. The curtains were washed and pressed and windows washed. Mom just didn't go to the lengths that Grandma did when it came to spring cleaning. I expect that is because Mom used her hoover, an Electrolux really, all the time. She did her dusting all the time as well. I expect it was because Mom was using all the modern labor saving devices that she had time to do all that stuff. She had an electric powered washing machine. Grandma washed hers in a wash tub with a scrub board. Mom still hung her clothes on the line but did have a dryer she would use in an emergency. Mom used an electric steam iron too. When I was little she still ironed everything, the transition to permanent press was just starting back then. Mom didn't trust that permanent press much though and felt those clothes, especially shirts and slacks, needed touching up.
 Nowadays we think about spring cleaning in a different way. It is more about throwing out the junk we don't want anymore. The old folks didn't throw anything away. We are not concerned so much with cleanliness as we are with clutter. I suppose that is a sign of the times. The old folks held onto things. They became attached to those items and cared for them. Spring cleaning was a chance for them to admire those items. As they cleaned and rearranged things they enjoyed their stuff. The curtains would be washed, pressed and carefully rehung. They were like new. The same with the rugs and furnishings. Each item was dusted admired and placed back on the shelf. Spring cleaning was a symbolic rebirth. Our spring cleaning  is more about, out with the old, and in with the new. Not reborn but replaced ! For the old folks it was a time to appreciate the things you had. A time to be grateful you had made it through another winter season. Spring, a new beginning. It should start out fresh and clean, that's why we do spring cleaning.