Home... Index... Articles... Links... From the Press... Snippets... Message Board... Editor's Bio... Bulletin Board... Submissions... Free Update... Writers... E-mail


Spring Cleaning ~ Here We Go 'Round In Circles
by Beth Boswell Jacks

Does your family give you a hard time about your housekeeping? Does your hubby fuss because he’s out of underwear? Does your son wonder aloud about that putrid odor coming from the refrigerator? Does your daughter ask you, innocently, sort of, what you’re growing in the potato bin? Do they grouse that new carpet is not necessary because the dog hair provides sufficient cushion underfoot?

Mothers are expected to be Miz Clean, you know. And no matter how often family members try to help, the mop still fits Mama’s hands best.

Here’s a clever hint, therefore, I’m passing on to women with persnickety families.

Anonymous said: “Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself onto the couch, and sigh, ‘I clean and I clean and I still don't get anywhere. . . .’"

Good advice. I mean, the place smells clean – what more do you want?

A good friend once told me, “It’s the ‘illusion of clean’ you’re after. Really, who’s going to be looking under your bed?” She could be right. And anyway, what’s a little dirt in the corners? Quentin Crisp says there’s no need to do any housework at all because “after the first 4 years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”

Well, I’m not sure about that, but I do know that spring cleaning time is upon us, and women are going to suffer with mountains of guilt if we don’t spiffy things up around the old casa. But where, pray, do we start with such a daunting project?

I’m told it’s best to take one room at a time, which, for me, presents a dizzying problem.

Let’s say I start in the den. There’s a stack of horse magazines beside hubby G-Man’s recliner. I throw away most of the magazines, but I save some because he loves to reread them. The saved horse magazines need to reside in the bedroom beside his lamp table.

I take the magazines to the bedroom and spy 3 dozen broken, tangled clothes hangers G-Man has left on the bed. These must go in the trash, so I head for the garbage bag I’ve hung by the kitchen door.

I stuff the hangers in the garbage bag and turn around, quickly noticing that poochie Pharaoh has knocked over his water dish. Grabbing a handful of paper towels, I clean up the water and, in the process, wipe up several muddy dog tracks on the tile – which draws my attention to . . .

The rotting potatoes in the potato bin under the rolling chopping block which needs oiling but must wait because it’s not the kitchen’s turn. It’s the den’s turn.

Back to the den I go, determined to spring clean in the proper order.

I’m not sure this falls under cleaning, but I suddenly realize that the pictures of the grandchildren on the den coffee table are old – at least 2 to 4 years old. In her coffee table picture, Lila is bald as a doorknob and now she has curls all over her head; Meredith no longer has braces; Caroline is 6 – she’s been out of diapers for years. The Dowdy 4 are too grown to sit and grin in a bathtub together. I gather the frames and go upstairs to hunt more current pictures.

I find a box of memorabilia in the guest bedroom; some photos are old and some rather new, so I sit down on the floor to sort through, selecting favorites for the spruced up coffee table in my soon-to-be spotless den.

In my lowly floor position, I glance back and – awkkk! Dust bunnies under the bed.

That’s when I realize my friend is all wrong. Who’s going to be looking under the bed? Me! It’s an inevitable part of an impossible cleaning circle that has absolutely no end.

Gimme that pine-scented spray and a Dramamine. I quit.


For more SNIPPETS stories, read these:
How To Eat Crawfish...
Forget Your Troubles ~ C'mon, Get Older!
Trail rides, cantles and beans...Hellooo, Mama!
Ben Skelton: Peace Corps Volunteer
Smiles, Not Fists...
Dance ~ the Soul's Hidden Language
Class Reunion Advice
Searching for the Inner Animal
It Was a Dark and Stormy... you know
Granny Does the Shoshone
Dancing the Weight Away

For stories at USADS by columnist Beth Boswell Jacks, click here: SNIPPETS
And find even more here: MORE SNIPPETS

Want to leave a comment on Beth's article?
Please visit our Message Board
or write Ye Editor at bethjacks@hotmail.com.
Thanks for visiting USADEEPSOUTH!


Back to USADEEPSOUTH - I index page

Back to USADEEPSOUTH - II index page