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The annual push is almost here

March 22, 2017
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

The fastidious among us are looking forward a few weeks and are already gathering their supplies. But procrastinators like me are trying to postpone the inevitable. The cause? It's almost spring-cleaning time again.

As much as I love the renewing period of the year, the annual cleaning season always catches me unprepared. It's so easy to put it off for a while longer. I guess it all goes back to those long ago spring cleaning sessions of my childhood.

As a kid, I loved spring. When the days began to warm, I would join my pals outside at every opportunity, just to revel in the reawakening of nature.

Meanwhile, Mom would be inside the winter-weary house, carefully planning her annual attack on grime and clutter. Just when I thought I might escape Mom's yearly scrub and polish, she would call a meeting of her workers.....brothers Bob and Alan, sister Lynn and me, the youngest of the clan.

Mom would lower our defenses with an especially tasty lunch. Then, she'd announce in her no-nonsense voice, "Today's the day."

I knew there was no way out.

Each of us was given specific chores to accomplish. As the oldest of our quartet, Bob, had the task of using the wicked rug beater to soundly thrash the dirt out of the rugs thrown over the back yard line.

The next worker was brother Alan. He always got the plumb assignment of scrubbing down the front porch. With his bare feet enjoying their first taste of freedom, Alan used plenty of warm soapy water and a stiff broom to do the job. When I jealously peeked out at the inviting scene, I'd see Alan sloshing gleefully among the soap bubbles.

Sister Lynn was charged with helping Mom gather the curtains for laundering. Even though Lynn's chore took her down to the cellar with the wash tubs and the finger-smashing ringer, at least she wasn't alone. She and Mom chatted and sang happily as they washed the afternoon away.

Being the youngest of the family, my job was to scrub what seemed like miles of woodwork. Mom started me out on the second floor where I'd spend hours alone, inching along the edge of each room, trying to remove the scuff marks and dust that had accumulated through the winter.

The work was made even more distasteful by the sounds drifting through the open windows. Just outside, all my pals seemed to be celebrating the magical spring day while I was trapped with a scrub brush in my hand.

Today, my spring cleaning is much more casual than the chores Mom insisted on. Still, I know I have to take some time to sweep out the winter and prepare for the coming of the promising new season.

But, in order to avoid jumping into the tough jobs too fast, I plan to start by looking over the magazines that have been building up beside that cozy chair of mine in the living room. After all, you can't rush a project as important as spring cleaning.



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