Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thursday, or Thereabouts - March 23, 2017

Spring Cleaning

Devoid of moisture and purpose, the residue of winter road maintenance swirled up from the roadways in clouds of briny grit. Hat pulled down and head tucked, I trudged across the parking lot cursing the windswept version of spring cleaning. Back home, the neighbour's chickens, freed from winter incarceration in their hen house, roamed my front yard intent on their spring cleaning of the space underneath the bird feeders. With due diligence, they hoovered up the songbirds' cast offs.

Spring cleaning, eh? Now there's a thought with potential to provoke some action from me. It resonates so well with the downsizing theme that ebbs and flows through my plans and on my ToDo lists: get rid of the stuff devoid of story and purpose. Perhaps in the process, I might even discover a few gems hidden amongst the rubble, like my Dad's toolbox.

Now that was a joyous find, a delight full of story and useful tools. I'll write more about the toolbox another time. For the moment, I'm savouring the possibility of more discoveries, or perhaps better put recoveries. My old train set and the tunnel Gramps made me for Christmas fifty-five years or so ago readily come to mind. Just where are those priceless pieces?

Truth be told, the writing here today is probably the closest I will get to any real spring cleaning. I am my mother's daughter after all. Mom was a great cook and dishwasher. The kitchen was her dominion and she kept it in good order. Other household chores were not on her priority list or perhaps any list of hers, with the possible exception of vacuuming.

Ah yes, the vacuum cleaner. Now there was a beast right out of a Flash Gordon scene. It looked something like this (even the cardboard box looks like the one that was in our closet!):

Electrolux® made it and judging from the images I've been able to find, the one Mom had was a model XXX dating from the late 1930's to early 50's. It was a cannister-type that had steel skids, not wheels, to aid in dragging it along behind a cumbersome hose.

Press the nickel-sized black button on the top and the motor screamed to life. And I do mean "screamed." When vacuuming fell to me to do, I turned the beast on with a fully outstretched foot, my body leaning well away from turbojet-like howl. Not only did dust bunnies flee in fear for their lives, so did my younger sister. I was assigned to keep her occupied in our room while Mom wielded the dust sucker.

Mom was undaunted by the noise. She sang at the top of her lungs, something she could never otherwise do in the house but masked by the vacuum cleaner, she could really let her trained voice loose.

Operatic arias accompanied by engine whine - priceless!

Thanks, Mom.

©2017 April Hoeller

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