Grandmother’s Wisdom: Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning toolsThey 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:

Spring-cleaning. 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.

I recently heard from some beautiful elderly women who remember their grandmothers’ Spring-cleaning. Drafting every member of the family and any neighbors who wanted to trade services, they ordered every piece of furniture outdoors. 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.

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

Oh.

I think I’ll go dust for a while. ‘Bye, now.

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4 thoughts on “Grandmother’s Wisdom: Spring Cleaning

  1. Ruth Bailey says:

    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!

    • katharinetrauger says:

      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 teh 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. 🙂

  2. faerylandmom says:

    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…

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