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It’s That Time Of The Year Again

May 15, 2008
By Joyce Schenk
The fastidious among us are celebrating. But, me....are trying to postpone the inevitable. It’s spring-cleaning time again.

As much as I love this renewing period of the year, the annual cleaning season always catches me unprepared. It’s so easy to put it off....just for a while longer. I guess it all goes back to those long ago spring-cleaning sessions of my childhood.

As a kid, I loved spring. When the days began to warm, I’d join my pals outside every available moment, just to revel in the reawakening of nature.

Meanwhile, Mom would be inside the winter-weary house, carefully planning her annual attack on grime and clutter.

Just when I thought I’d escaped the yearly scrub and polish period, Mom would make her announcement. She’d lower our defenses with an especially tasty lunch. Then, she’d say in her no-nonsense voice, “Well, today’s the day.”

I knew I was trapped.

Each of us four kids was given specific chores to accomplish. As the oldest of our quartet, Bob, had the task of using the wicked rug beater to soundly thrash the dirt out of the rugs thrown over the back yard line. Next came brother Alan. He always got the plumb assignment of scrubbing down the front porch. With his bare feet enjoying their first taste of freedom, Alan used plenty of warm soapy water and a stiff broom to do the job. When I jealously peeked out at the inviting scene, I’d see Alan sloshing gleefully among the soap bubbles.

Sister Lynn was charged with helping Mom gather the curtains for laundering. Even though Lynn’s chore took her down to the cellar with the wash tubs and the finger-smashing ringer, at least she wasn’t alone. She and Mom chatted and sang happily as they washed the afternoon away.

Being the youngest of the family, my job was to scrub what seemed like miles of woodwork. Mom started me out on the second floor where I’d spend hours alone, inching along the edge of each room, trying to remove the scuff-marks and dust that had accumulated through the winter.

The work was made even more distasteful by the sounds drifting through the open windows. Just outside, all my pals seemed to be celebrating the magical spring day while I was trapped with a scrub brush in my hand.

Today, my spring-cleaning is much more casual than the chores Mom insisted on. Still, I know I have to take some time to sweep out the winter and prepare for this new, promising season.

Today, I think I’ll start by looking over the magazines that have been building up beside that cozy chair of mine in the living room. You don’t what to rush into a project as important as spring-cleaning.


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