Friday, February 25, 2011

The First Sign of Spring

I once read that spring cleaning had its origin in two related facts: 1) when houses were heated by burning wood or coal, by spring the walls and contents were dingy with smoke, and 2) as the days grew longer and the sun shone more brightly, the smuts of winter became blatantly obvious, until appalled homeowners finally launched massive orgies of cleaning.

Well, the official first day of spring is a long way off, but my teaching workload has lightened up and I've finally shaken off my cold, so I did half of the spring cleaning today.  I dusted, mopped the tile floors, disinfected the bathrooms, reorganized the master closet and the office, watered the plants, and did all the laundry.  Tomorrow I'm going to be busy elsewhere, but on Sunday I'm going to vacuum the bedrooms and thoroughly clean the kitchen.  Now, this may sound like a regular weekly cleaning to you, but I only move all the heavy furniture in search of dust wallabys, wash the dust and grease off the dishes and doodads that sit on top of the upper kitchen cupboards, and run the self-cleaning cycle on the oven a few times a year.

Even though I'm not finished, I already feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  All those little undone tasks have been lurking at the corners of my mind, sneering and daring me to give up, oh, sleeping as a hobby to get them finished.  So now I can sneer back: ha, ha! nasty tasks!  Begone and take your guilt trip with you!

I think this is the real reason for spring cleaning: homeowners everywhere gaining enough extra energy from the spring sun to tackle the chores they've been putting off through the dark, vitamin D-deprived days of winter.  No wonder early people worshiped the sun.

"My second favorite household chore is ironing.  My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."  ~Erma Bombeck


  1. I am looking forward to Winter leaving and spring to arrive :D

  2. I think the official first day of spring this year is March 20, but I'm hoping it gets here earlier than that!!