Sunday, August 21, 2011

In Praise of Straw

Have you ever moved into a new home and found relics left by the previous owners?  Over the years I've seen everything from cleaning and gardening equipment to a sofa sleeper, old clothing and bath soap abandoned in the rush to vacate the premises.  The previous owners here left behind a coffee table, a tea cart, and, yes, a sizable stash of cleaning products, including an authentic straw broom.

I can remember my mother using a straw broom when I was a small child (for that reason it's the type of broom I grew up thinking witches ride), but she switched to synthetics early on.  I don't recall ever owning a real straw broom myself; I assumed because the straws were uneven to start with and more liable to break than synthetic bristles that it would be more likely to leave dirt behind and wear out more quickly.  For a while I even gave up brooms entirely in favor of a Swiffer.

Yesterday, though, I grabbed the left-behind straw broom more or less at random and used it to sweep the tiled bathroom, hallway, and kitchen, and I was amazed at how effective it was.  It removed dust from the corners better than either a Swiffer or a synthetic broom, it didn't have any static issues, and the sweeping actually took less time than usual.  I believe I'm going to hang on to it and put my old synthetic broom out in the garage sale pile.

I guess sometimes progress isn't.

"A new broom sweeps clean, but the old broom knows the corners.” ~Irish Saying

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