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Archive for the ‘Spring Cleaning—what a JOY!’ Category

Now the sun has moved north enough to rise through our patio door.  Growing daylight is a spring cleaning signal for me.  What a joy to tear into one’s home and freshen up every nook and cranny.  Actually I love to do this throughout the year.  But I always embark on a home cleaning spree before the advent of warmish spring weather, because when warm weather comes I’ll want to be outdoors! 

Dusting (furniture, books, and the contents of china and glassware cabinets) is one the most enjoyable, relaxing, and theraputic things I do!  Dusting is also very easy physically, the way I do it.  I advance on piles of books, duster in hand—ready to rediscover treasures that I want to re-read.  Yesterday I took out Aldo Leopold’s A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC to savor for the umpteenth time. 

(Aldo Leopold was at the University of Wisconsin in the 1930s when my uncle, William Longenecker, was a horticulture professor there.  They were co-workers—visionary men who realized that the future physical and soul health of Wisconsin and our nation would be greatly enhanced by conservation measures.  In Leopold’s writing, I experience my uncle’s exuberant spirit and the love for nature—which has been so significant in my family heritage as well as in my own personal life.)

From the bookshelves and piles, I move to shelves and cabinets of china and glassware.  I periodically change items in and out of cabinets, displaying various colors and textures at different times of the year.  Here again, treasure are rediscovered.  Sometimes I find a vase or pitcher I’d forgotten about, and out it comes—to take its place of honor as a receptacle for flowers, live or dried, or to just sit there and look lovely.

Teacups and saucers get a good washing and polishing, so that when guests come I don’t have to exorcise dust specs from the cups before pouring the tea.  Pictures get wiped and freshened up, as well.  What a delight!

Vacuuming is hard for me at present, with my degenerative spinal disc issues.  In a few weeks a friend will be joining me for a morning of vacuuming—as well as dusting the high places that I can’t reach without a step ladder.  My friend is tall.  I am not!  And her back is young.  We’ll visit, and work together.  By that time I should be able to throw some windows and doors wide open, and let the outdoors in!

Even the earliest whispers of spring stir something in our souls, and we instinctively want to spruce up our surroundings.  Dusting and cleaning are not odious chores to be avoided or done mechanically in a perfunctory spirit.  Dusting and cleaning are supreme play—in celebration of home, creativity, and la joie de vie!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

Ready for tea!  ↑  (The beautiful polished wooden ducks and hippos are from Nigeria where our daughter, Martina, lived and taught for 4 years.  We have an awesome pair of Nigerian lions on another shelf.)

Even the dolly house gets a spring cleaning! ↓

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