Flinging open the windows, I let in the warm late-April sunshine that illuminates every single speck of winter dust; and that’s when the frenzy begins.
The cold, erratic weather this season delayed spring cleaning, but before I know it I am immersed in the annual ritual.
“I must confess that I find housework very tiresome in spring. So much suddenly seems to need doing,” said Gladys Taber, who wrote about life at Stillmeadow, her seventeenth-century Connecticut farmhouse. “The light is brighter now, and lasts longer, and it shows up everything! You can’t do it all at once – curtains, rugs, woodwork, attic and cellar.”
But I try.
I dust, wash windows and vacuum, but while I’m cleaning every nook and cranny of the dining room furniture, I glance at the stove and think how nice it would be to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
I abandon the Swiffer, grab the cookie sheet and preheat the oven; and before long the cookies are baking in the oven.
Now where was I?
I pull the sheets off the bed and carry the laundry downstairs. I put the summer comforter in the washing machine.
The front doorbell rings. I run upstairs and accept a delivery, but before she leaves, I make a dash for the kitchen counter and return with a warm cookie.
Now what was I doing?
I begin cleaning the kitchen. Then I head downstairs to move the comforter to the dryer.
While I wash the cookie sheet, I stare out the open window and watch a black-capped chickadee nibbling at the feeder.
Then the dryer buzzer rings, and I rush downstairs to get the comforter and make up the bed with new linens.
Munching on a cookie by the picture window, I see the gorgeous purple azaleas in the front garden.
“It’s little I care what path I take / And where it leads it’s little I care / But out of this house, lest my heart break, / I must go, and off somewhere,” wrote Edna St. Vincent Millay, a Maine native.
“Before she has her floor swept / Or her dishes done, / Any day you’ll find her / A-sunning in the sun!” said the poet.