Spring Has Sprung by Patricia Forsythe



 
Here in southern Arizona, Spring is very brief, just a short sneeze between a barely cool winter and a blazing hot summer, but we do get some beautiful blossons like these that will soon cover this Texas Sage bush.
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.

 

Comments

  1. I had to laugh reading your post, Patricia. If I were prone to spring cleaning, I’d have the happy excuse of telling myself it’s not spring yet as I awoke to a light dusting of snow this morning. Some people are calling this interval between winter and real spring ‘sprinter’ this year and no wonder! Arizona sounds lovely right now....far too nice to stay inside cleaning. As to writing....that’s another story, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, although our temperature is supposed to be in the 90's today, the high 90's, another reason to stay inside and write.

      Delete
  2. Lol. I'm at the same point with spring cleaning as you are!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to try to spring clean, but I've given it up, along with trying to like broccoli. Life is just too short...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! I want to make happiness my goal, not spotlessness.

      Delete
  4. Wow, I remember my mom cleaning wallpaper like that. The "silly putty" was fun to play with! Spring cleaning. Hmm. I'm trying to get rid of stuff I don't need but I've been saying that now for some time. 😊Think I'll work on my new story's conflict instead.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hmm...not a hard choice: write or clean? Ha! The best time to clean, though, is when I'm thinking hard about characters and plot and such. Some good ideas can come through when I'm occupied elsewhere. Fun post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Virginia. I, too, find that mindless tasks like cleaning can free up the creative juices.

      Delete
  6. Oh, Patty! You're post made me chuckle! And now I want to go find some silly putty. I don't have soot on my walls. I just want to play with silly putty. And I need to take your spring cleaning chat to heart and do some of that myself. My office looks like a tornado went through it.

    I love spring time in Arizona and can't wait for the mountains around my home to be covered with poppies. Not quite as beautiful as the blue bonnet covered hills I grew up with, but I'll take it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I hear you about the poppies. I love when those bloom, along with the African daisies that so many people here seem to have in their yards.

      Delete
  7. I didn't know that about silly putty. Interesting! And my cleaning keeps getting pushed back a week. I'll get there eventually. Snow here in PA this morning, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my! I have relatives in PA who tell me they have had enough snow for the next several years. Let's go, Spring!

      Delete
  8. Sprinter is exactly what's going on out here, too, Janice. It was minus 23 last week during the day with the wind chill. Melting this week. Go, Team Spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too bad there isn't some way to balance your cold with our 90 degrees and end up with a pleasant 60 degrees or so.

      Delete
  9. I loved Silly Putty. I'd lay it on the Sunday comics and the smush it. Then, the carton would appear on the Silly Putty. LOL, as another Arizona gal, I can tell you that spring blinked and is gone. We're already out camping in our shirt sleeves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did that, too, Pam, then I would try to transfer Little Orphan Annie onto a piece of paper, but it never worked. Enjoy camping before it gets too hot!

      Delete
  10. Yes to smashing silly putty on the comics, like Pamela mentioned above, no to using it to clean wallpaper. Lol. I'm glad those times have changed. I hate cleaning and it's more because I think about the time I'm "wasting" than the chore itself. There is something about spring, though, that makes me want to get rid of the clutter!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't think I knew silly putty could clean wallpaper. My spring cleaning feels like I move one stack of junk from point A to point B. I can never decide what needs to be thrown out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I didn't know that's where silly putty came from! Loved that stuff. We're in breakup right now in Anchorage, our version of spring, where the most common game at traffic lights is "Guess what color that car is under the dirt." But soon I'll be in Arizona soon. Can't wait to see spring flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I enjoyed your post. 34 years ago when i got married i was told by everyone that all women did spring and fall cleaning. basically deep cleaning. everything was fine while living in a tiny apartment. but when we moved to a ranch house four years later and i had a toddler and expecting another any minute, well, LOL lets just say i ignored both cleanings. and i don't regret it at all. I had the privilege to be an at home mom and i loved the idea of teaching these little people about cleaning and responsibility. today, do i do spring and fall cleaning? nope!!! now i get to spend all my time with my husband. life is grand when we prioritize. LOL

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment