Personally, I love to hear about people who are eager for a real spring to arrive after a cold, snowy winter. They happily begin planning their flower beds, digging out their summer clothes, seeing what still fits, deciding if that swimsuit that was so cute last summer can be used one more year.
One thing you don’t hear much about anymore is spring cleaning. Years ago, this was a ritual that people went through after being cooped up all winter in rooms with fireplaces to provide warmth for the people and soot for the walls. In the spring, homemakers tried to brighten up their rooms by carefully removing that soot from the wallpaper. They had a variety of different methods for this, which they used with varying degrees of success. One product, a soft, pliable clay-like substance was developed. It could be flattened, stretched, and pressed into a pancake-like shape which was then pressed against the paper, or made into a sausage shape and rolled down the wall. It worked pretty well until children discovered it was a heck of a lot of fun to play with. Manufacturers repackaged it as a toy, and named it Silly Putty. I’m guessing that moms still used it to clean the wallpaper.
We don’t have to go to those lengths anymore. With life going at the speed that it does now, and with people so busy, spring cleaning seems to be a thing of the past. We can hire an entire crew to come in and do in one day that which used to take us every weekend for a month. If we want to do it ourselves, there is an incredible variety of tools to help us. At the supermarket, I once counted seven different kinds of tools to clean window blinds. My solution to that would be to take those blinds down and put up curtains which can easily be washed next spring.
In fact, if a person really got on a roll, they could get rid of things right and left, just opening up closets and cupboards and tossing or donating items no one uses, steeling themselves against regret and the bone-deep belief that someone might come along and want those items. That’s true, they might, so put them out there for someone else to deal with.
Cleaning up and clearing out can be wonderfully freeing for the mind. ‘Stuff’ weighs us down and has to be dealt with, but when it’s gone, it’s gone, making it easier to deal with what’s most important. For a writer, that is creating a new story, a conflict between characters, throwing obstacles in their way just like you tossed out those old green stretch pants from the 90’s that you never liked in the first place.
As for me, I’d rather write than clean, which means I have to get going on a book because, if not, I’ll be out of excuses for not finishing my 1981 spring cleaning.
Patricia Forsythe is the award-winning author of many romances, both traditionally and electronically published, including four Harlequin Heartwarming books.