Families Used To Do Things Together

The storm came and went, but she left behind evergreen branches, pine needles, and wind swept rhododendron bushes. I was glad I had hired a landscaping company! It will be up to them to clean up the mess. It wasn’t always like that though. My husband and myself cleaned up our one-half acre no matter what storm damage did to our yard. After he died and years were added, I decided to take a hunk of my money and have these men clean up my yard. The only problem I have is looking at the mess for nearly two weeks because that is when they are scheduled to come!

I was thinking about how cleaning used to be when I was a little girl. The whole family was involved whether we wanted to be or not. The oder of full strength lysol I can still smell when I think of cleaning week at home. But like so many oldsters, the mundane memories are good for me. Why? Because we were a family doing what families do best. We worked side by side toward a common goal. Whether it be spring cleaning, or surviving the great depression, we did it together.

I remember spring cleaning, a time when Mom was a sort of boss. She took quiet pride in her ability to manage all the jobs that must be done and keep the family comfortable and well fed at the same time. The worst job in spring was taking down the wood burning stoves. They had to be taken down in order to take the carpets out to the clothesline to be spanked, and spanked they were. I remember that was one of the jobs my brother and I had. But first the whole family was involved in taking the wood stove down. Father carefully took the stove pipe down. No matter how careful he was some of the dirty, black soot landed on all of us! Oh, how we hated that, but our work wasn’t finished yet. We had to carry that big stove outside where it was polished until it looked like new. That was Mom’s orders!

After we had oiled the woodwork and vinegared the windows the cleaning was done. We stood in the middle of the living room and looked around. It looked like a new room, even with the old furniture and curtains and we were all proud because we had done all the work together. Then Dad would wind up the phonograph and we enjoyed the music as we munched on popcorn.

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