Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Cleaning - A Tribute to My Mom

I am writing this on a beautiful, spring day while I am taking a break from dusting and cleaning windows, blinds and curtains. I remember my younger years when the words of Spring or Fall cleaning made me ill. I wasn't particularly afraid of work, but I could see no purpose to the time and effort. Even at a young age, I realized that nothing in this world stays neat, clean or orderly for long.

As a child, Fridays at my home were always called Friday Cleaning Day. I hated Fridays. During my school years when everyone was excited for Fridays and the weekend, I dreaded walking in the back door. I knew when I got home Mom would not be quite finished with her "Friday Cleaning". The kitchen table would be cluttered with every odd object she couldn't find a suitable place for. It was my job to find a home for these objects. Back then I had only cleaned the garbage can instead of thinking of it as my friend--a wonderful place to put things and never worry about again.

But Mom's Friday cleaning was nothing compared to her Spring and Fall cleaning. These projects could take weeks, and we were to clean everything within a quarter of a mile radius of the house including the porches, sidewalks, garage, etc.

I have to hand it to Mom. She loved things neat and tidy. Mom has always been very energetic--something I guess I did not inherit from her. I like my home orderly as well, but today if I get half of the things on my list done, it will be a good day. It must seem to others that I enjoy the agony of cleaning here and there, sometimes putting off many inevitable chores. I rarely procrastinate anything--deep cleaning is an exception. Maybe I need a psychiatrist. Maybe I have issues--even deep unhealed wounds about house cleaning. [I heard that on a soap opera once.]

Some children are scarred for life with terrible things I can't even imagine. I am thankful that my scars are from working hard in never-ending cleaning tasks.

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