FOOD FOR THE SOUL
Could someone please explain to me why we clean our houses every week? Unless you live alone, the house just get messy be the end of the day. I have been really busy the past few weeks, and I found it necessary to triage my list of chores to get everything done. Supper and dishes have been done every night, the laundry has been kept up, but dusting and vacuming…..not so much. Last night I looked at Maddie after supper and said “Lets get busy and get the cleaning done.” She looked at me like I had 2 heads….because unless it is summertime, the cleaning gets done on my day off when she is in school. She could not wrap her head around the fact that we were going to clean so late in the day. Actually, she just had to dust down the stairs and pick up her mess in the living room, because she was saved by Confirmation class that evening. As I found myself alone in the house, I put on a cd mix that my oldest daughter had made, turned it up loud and proceeded to swiffer, dust and vacuum.
Soon I was thinking about how things have changed in my life as far as cleaning. When we were young, we 3 girls were recruited to help clean on Saturday mornings. Mom had a favorite album from Eddy Arnold that she would play on the tv-slash-stereo while we cleaned. Whenever I hear “Make the World Go Away” or “Cattle Call,” I get one of those warm fuzzy feelings in my heart at the memory. It wasn’t just swiffering, dusting and vacuming…..we had to pull out furniture and dust baseboards, dust every possible surface there was to dust, and finally “rake” the orange shag carpet. We don’t have carpet in my house now, just old wood floors and area rugs. We had wall to wall carpet when the kids were younger and I got a look at the stains on the underside when we pulled it up. I declared then and there that there would only be floors I could clean regularly in my home. When we put in new windows we decided to get the ones that tilt in, so I could wash the windows easier. Nice thought, but somehow that infrequently gets done. I make my bed every morning, even though it is upstairs where no one will see it, apparently I reason with myself that if I get killed in a car accident, my family can say….”She was such a wonderful person, she made her bed every day!” Growing up, my mom was fanatical about the house being clean. On the Saturdays that she waxed the kitchen floor, she would give us money to walk uptown and get a pound of ham from the deli, fresh Butternut bread and a gallon of coke in a glass jug from the “sweet shop”. We knew we would not be allowed into the kitchen, so we ate on the porch or if the weather was bad, the dining room. You could keep 1 pair of shoes by the front door, but your coat needed to be put in the closet. We were not allowed to “soak” a pan with stuck on food, you added water and soap to it, and boiled the water to help dislodge the stuck on food. And forget about letting dishes air day…..not an option. You never left anything on the dining room table because that was the first thing people saw when they came in the front door.
Hmmmm…..I started out this blog complaining about having to clean my house, even though there are no rules…..just that role model that you try to emulate. I know right here and now that I will never be as dedicated to cleaning as my mom, and I know that it will be fine. I seldom go to bed with a messy house, but there will be dishes drying in the sink, and some dust I have missed in a corner. When I got married and had kids, my mom surprised me with a needle point that she gave me as a gift for my birthday. It is framed along with pictures of my family and is hanging in my living room. There is a woman rocking a baby and the poem reads like this: Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow. so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my babies and babies don’t keep. She then confessed to me that she wished she had followed those words more when we were little, instead of worrying about messes in the house. Those were such wise words, and when I get too stressed because there may be dust on the tv or a few dishes in the sink, I just go and look at that needlepoint and smile ♥