11.03.2013

Spring Cleaning


When I was growing up, it was common practice for my mother and grandmother to do what was called spring cleaning.  Windows were opened up, curtains and quilts were washed and hung out, rugs were aired and beaten, walls and floors scrubbed.  And kitchen cupboards were emptied, and thoroughly cleaned out and washed down.

As a young wife 35 years ago, even I used to do this domestic ritual.  I liked how it connected me to my mother and grandmother, and how it made me feel like a successful homemaker.  Everything felt so wonderful, so fresh, renewed!

Over the years, I became a very busy single working mother, and spring cleaning was forgotten and abandoned.  Not because I stopped believing in it, but because there was never enough time.  Deep cleaning gave way to spot cleaning on-the-fly.  It seemed to suffice.


In recent weeks, Bill and I have noticed increasing sightings of a small, dark, and thin beetle on our counter tops.  Along with this tiny beetle we have seen nearly as many small 'worms'.  We cleaned the area and thought no more about it.  Until it kept happening.  Over and over.

As often is the case, we were in denial.  It became obvious that this was not isolated but ongoing, that no amount of wishful thinking was going to make them vanish.

We did some research.  We learned they were a type of grain beetle, of which there are many kinds.  The solution sounded suspiciously like...spring cleaning.  I had lucked out over the years;  sadly, time and statistics (and maybe domestic karma) has caught up with me.

So this week, I shall be slowly but surely unloading the corner cabinets top and bottom, doing an inventory on my supplies, throwing out anything that is old, open, and/or infested, and thoroughly cleaning the cabinets.

Grandma and Mom knew what they were doing...