Spring is in the air, if not the temperature, and I have been thinking about cleaning, which is different, of course, than actually doing it.
Some readers may know that I am quite immersed in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, reading them with my soon-to-be eight year old, books I did not experience when I was a child. So while my daughter identifies with the young people in the stories, I am usually thinking about Ma, or in the second book of the series, Farmer Boy, Almanzo’s Mother.
Here’s a little bit about spring-cleaning in their farmhouse in New York State.
Let’s see….they pulled all the carpets out the house and hung them on clothes lines; removed every item from the house and scrubbed and scoured and then polished it; then they removed the feather beds, the blankets and quilts and cleaned them. Then they had to fetch water so they could clean the cellar, clean out the vegetable bins and milk pans and finally pour buckets of lime on the walls and floor to “whitewash” them. Then they got some straw and tossed it on the floors back upstairs to go under the carpets which would be brought back in and tacked down.
Do this on top of the chores with the farm animals and make a supper which may consist of: baked beans, salt pork, boiled potatoes, ham gravy, mashed turnips, stewed pumpkin, plum preserves, strawberry jam, and two or three different types of pie.
Could I do all of this?
I have modern technology to help but probably not the know-how, and I do not think I’d like to lay straw beneath the carpets, given my allergies. On the other hand, it would be nice to have everyone pitch in to help clean every single object in the house.
Realistically, I think I’ll try to clean out my clothes closet. If I find anything that hasn’t been worn since 1870, out it goes.
This week on The Educated Mom, we look at cell phones and the lost art of being able to disconnect.