My grandmother was one of those housekeepers. Not that Gran’s house was ever anything less than pristine (and we’re talking “eat off the floor” clean, not a concept with which I, myself, am intimately familiar!) — but she did watch the calendar.
Every year, immediately following St. Patrick’s Day, she’d boil up gallons of water and get out the scrub brushes. Curtains were washed and ironed with starch. Rugs were draped over the clothesline and vigorously beaten with a wire gizmo that was made for the purpose. Beeswax and lemon oil were melted gently together into a furniture polish that filled the place with that evocative scent that, ever since, has spoken to me of damned hard work, dust up my nose, and rubber gloves…
Some people go by the calendar to start their spring cleaning; but others go by the weather —
Yep, that would be another way to go…
But the truly gifted Domestik Goddess relies on more subtle signs that Spring Cleaning Season is once more upon us:
- Your mother admires your attractive beige mini-blinds; but the blinds were white, when you put them up last fall.
- The mudroom has been earning its name for at least three weeks.
- No matter how often you put it firmly away, the vacuum cleaner keeps re-appearing, as if by magic, in the middle of the living room floor.
- The dog’s squeaky ball rolls underneath the spare room bed… and he refuses to go in there after it.
- The cobwebs are getting dusty.
- A visiting small child gazes around your home, then looks up at you wide-eyed with awe and wonder, and asks: “Did you know that people can tidy up sometimes?”