They tell me old timers used to practice Spring-cleaning every year. My mother did. For a long while, I felt guilty when I failed even to nod in that direction. Now I realize why they did it and why they had the energy.
And what a blessing it was, in disguise.
They had to. Winter warmth cost them more than just the husband’s fuel bill. The fuel deposits carried an extra annual cost for the wife: Spring-cleaning. Smoke from wood or coal settled ash onto every surface, even walls, curtains, and ceiling. Humid breezes from spring’s open windows melded with this deposit, forming mold. It was clean or die, and they knew it. Hence the motivation to have some energy.
I recently heard from some beautiful elderly women who remember their grandmothers’ Spring-cleaning. Drafting every member of the family and any neighbors who wanted to trade services, they ordered every piece of furniture outdoors. I know why. Every piece needed cleaning, fore and aft, inside and out, yes.
However, the carpet, itself, also had to make that trip outdoors for a good scrubbing and sunning, and to grant that sub-floor its own turn with the soap and scrub brush.
Everything, everything, in the house was clean as new, only one week later.
Usually they worked together, neighbors helping each other by turns, just as the men often did the harvest. Spring-cleaning and the harvest were equally essential to life, and they knew it. God had told them in Leviticus 14, and, of course, lately we’ve learned He was right, that a moldy house is bad, but back then they didn’t have any better sense than to believe God.
Well, of course, that was the right thing to do, but to believe Him so much that they would act on it by actually removing mold or even the potential for mold, was their only recourse, lacking today’s science.
Well, of course, today’s science isn’t so advanced if they actually already knew these things back in our great-great-great-grandmothers’ days, but it just proves that those verses actually were right.
I mean, to invest an entire week of hard work into believing that a few Bible verses might be right, was the best they could do. They had no way of knowing the dangers of mold or the importance of washing things
I think I’ll go dust for a while. ‘Bye, now.
Katharine is a retired home educating mom who writes about all things “woman”, from a Godly viewpoint, here on this site, and at The Conquering Mom. Her writing appeared in several magazines for 15 years, and she is currently working on several books. She loves to write, speak, teach, cook, garden, spoil her hennies, and watch old movies with popcorn.