One of my favorite Beverly Hillbillies episodes is when Granny decides to do Spring Cleaning. Back in the holler, the one room log cabin could be cleaned by taking everything outside, sweeping and mopping and washing, inside and out, then returned indoors, all ready for the long lazy summer days ahead.
In the mansion of richer times, all 27 rooms cannot be taken care of in this manner. Granny has poor Jethro hauling couches and bureaus outside into the driveway until his back is aching. Miss Hathaway finally persuades Granny to give the boy some relief for awhile.
This week is Spring Break and I had on my list to do just a bit of cleaning, so with apology to those of you who have heard this in real life, I think it is fine blog entry material.
To Do list
—Send Caleb’s birthday card
—finish baby afghan for Relief Sale
—Meet with Lucas for his birthday
—Change bulb in library overhead light
—Husband will buy dvd The Incredibles
—pick up sticks and do Spring stuff in the yard
—Wednesday is last evening for Family Fun Nights at church
You see, back around Christmastime, there was one morning when I was getting ready for the day and I dropped an earring. It flew off to I know not where, so I just chose another pair and thought I would look later for the lost gem.
Weeks passed. Months passed. The rose quartz and silver single rested in front of the jewelry box, taunting me with its loneliness.
Little did I know that finding the earring would take almost the whole Tuesday afternoon. I put an old sheet over the bed, then taking each item off the top of the dresser and dusting it with a damp cloth, I laid it on the sheet. On the top is my jewelry box, a little container with lid that I put my loose change in every evening, several hand lotions, hairbrush, combs, catch-all saucer [with paper clips, pushpins, the lid of a pen (even though I use a clicker pen) a marble, an empty keyring]. I’m sure you have the idea by now that I am messy and a packrat.
When I finally got to the doily (hand-embroidered gift from my mother), I knew that the earring was not on the top. Although I did find a tin of buffalo nickels which will be a good reason for a trip to the pawn shop.
I pulled the dresser away from the wall. The amount of cat hair and dust back there could make the Mojave desert jealous. I sorted through with my fingers, but the earring did not surface.
The cats were quite curious when I came in with the vacuum cleaner. Sniff-sniff. What’s that, Ma? You got some new-fangled contraption. When I turned the loud machine on, Oscar and Mahalia went flying down the hall, cowering behind the couch. I love it when a plan comes together.
I was going through each piece of furniture this way, from the back corner towards the door, which means the dresser, a little two shelf crate, a chair with clean laundry folded on it, a box under the chair, trash can and the bookcase. There were receipts from 1997 in the box under the chair. Broken hairdryer. Bag of frayed shoelaces. A used band-aid that had missed the trash bin and so old that even the stink of infection was gone.
Well, about 70 minutes into my adventure, I found the earring.
Yet I still had to put it all back together and leave it tidy and ready for bedtime.
I shook out the throw rugs on the front steps, under the watchful eyes of the cats who were now sitting on the railings. No machine involved for this.
Just much much shoulder action. I carried out one big trash bag and two smaller ones.
I was just sitting down for a cup of tea with a spoonful of TANG stirred in when Husband got home from the gym.
He asked what I had been doing, all polite like.
“I found my earring. It was in the box under the chair in the bedroom.”
now wasn’t this worth all that trouble?