They tell me old timers used to practice Spring cleaning every year. My mother did. For a long while, I felt guilty when I failed even to nod in that direction. Now I realize why they did it and why they had the energy.
And what a blessing it was, in disguise.
They had to.
Winter warmth cost them more than just the husband’s fuel bill. The fuel deposits carried an extra annual cost for the wife:
Smoke from wood or coal settled ash onto every surface, even walls, curtains, and ceiling. Humid breezes from Spring’s open windows melded with this deposit, forming mold. It was clean or die, and they knew it. Hence the motivation to have some energy.
Besides, absolutely all of the outdoors was lovely, singing, clean, and smelled amazing.
Indoors? Not so much. . . .
I recently heard from some lovely elderly women who remember their grandmothers’ Spring cleaning. What a treasure to hear their memories, told with quiet pride and a few chuckles, in age-softened voices, assuring me of days gone by and life on this earth, carefully archived, before my life was even a thought.
How I cherish visiting with lovely elderly women, gleaning from their brilliance!
Here’s how it was for them:
Drafting every member of the family and any neighbors who wanted to trade services, they ordered every piece of furniture outdoors and I know why.
Every piece needed cleaning, fore and aft, inside and out, yes.
However, the carpet, itself, also had to make that trip outdoors for a good scrubbing and sunning, and to grant that sub-floor its own turn with the soap and scrub brush, because things are happening underneath the carpet, friends—did you know?
Everything, everything, in the house was clean as new, only one week later.
Usually they worked together, neighbors helping each other by turns, just as the men often did the harvest. Spring-cleaning and the harvest were equally essential to life, and they knew it.
God had told them in Leviticus 14.
Of course, lately we’ve learned He was right, that a moldy house is bad, but back then they didn’t have any better sense than to believe God.
Well, of course, that was the right thing to do, but to believe Him so much that they would act on it by actually removing mold or even the potential for mold, was their only recourse, lacking today’s science.
Well, of course, today’s science isn’t so advanced if they actually already knew these things back in our great-great-great-grandmothers’ days, but it just proves that those verses actually were right.
I mean, to invest an entire week of hard work into believing that a few Bible verses might be right, was the best they could do. They had no way of knowing the dangers of mold or the importance of washing things.
I think I’ll go dust for a while. ‘Bye, now.
For more about Spring Cleaning go here:
Three more very good reasons!!! (Don’t miss this one!)
Exciting new way it’s really too easy to keep up with my Granny!
Do YOU spring clean? A little? A lot? Sometimes?
4 thoughts on “Grandmother’s Wisdom: Spring Cleaning”
Ouch! Having married a military man, our family moved about every three years, sometimes more often if the landlord wanted his house back earlier. Everything was gone through twice, once when sorting to be packed, and once when taken out of the box to find its new home. When my husband retired, I told myself that I should go through the house, cleaning and sorting and throwing away, once a year – but I haven’t done it yet. So this is “Obey. Obey and clean.” Check back in a couple of weeks to see if I’ve made any progress!
Bless you, Ruth!
I’ve not done my spring cleaning yet, because the pine pollen is falling right now. Everything looks as if yellow snow had fallen. We can even leave footprints in it, and it drifts across the sidewalk like a fine, dry, yellow snow. Fun, but not for in the house!
Right after that, though, will be my turn. And we will check on each other. 🙂
I have had to be content with mini-Spring-Cleanings the past several years, because of poor planning. But THIS year, I’m setting aside two weeks in June, recruiting a friend or two, and GETTING IT DONE. I love Springs Cleaning…
Sounds like a good plan, Friend! Hope you remember to have some fun while you are at it! 😉