“Achoo!” I sneezed again as I pulled the curtains down.
Where does all this dust come from? I clean every week but in the spring the sun twinkles through the cloudy windows and there’s the dust — dancing in the sunbeams. Ugh! So, it begins.
One room at a time. Everything that can go through the laundry gets washed. Wipe down the walls, wash the windows, polish the furniture, scrub the floors, pack away winter decorations and bring out the summer things. While I’m at it, organizing and cleaning the closets, drawers and the basement are tackled.
The closets — what still fits, what hasn’t been worn in years, and I never did like that top. Repeat for the drawers. One pile for the Salvation Army, one pile for Goodwill, one pile for the homeless shelter, how many boxes of books to donate and the trash pile. Who brought all this stuff in here?
Some spaces take longer than others to sort through. I rearrange the cedar chest filled with handmade baby quilts, booties, and afghans. All gifts from ladies I love when our daughters were born. There’s their baptismal gowns and first communion dresses, too. Then the closet shelves. Well-loved Barbies, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and her friends and the big purple hippo named Jumbo Love. I just cannot part with these yet.
Next the pictures; our daughters as they grew into beautiful ladies, holidays, family reunions, summertime fun and puppies. It will take months/years to sort and scan all of these memories.
On to the basement. Decorations I haven’t used in years. Paint from how many years ago? Where did all these hangers come from? Bottles of lawn care supplies we didn’t completely use last year and old seeds. One shelf after the other. I scrub out all the corners.
And, so it goes. One room after the other. One space after another. One blessing and then another — that we’ve outgrown or used to pieces. Everything in the piles to dispose of were once something we needed or wanted. Our daughters are adults with families of their own now. They’ve advised me which treasures they want me to keep. Our oldest daughter has used the Lincoln logs, lock blocks, and Fisher Price farm for their little one and brought them back for safe keeping. I’m sure these will make their way for our new grandson to play with when he’s a bit older. They’ve used the baby blankets that weren’t pink and the cradle my husband made. That will be kept for future generations — a blessing to be passed on. Our youngest daughter sets aside the books she wants when she’s home. Books are always a blessing.
We’ve had a home filled with blessings. Our most important ones have grown up and created beautiful lives of their own. That has brought us even more joy as we watch them work toward their dreams and create their successes. We’re also proud of them when they recognize a bad decision, correct their direction and move along on the right path again.
Spring is the season of renewal. Clear out the clutter, treasure happy memories and make room for new blessings. And cherish the best blessing of all — our family.
PAT SINENI, of Streator, is a retired receptionist and mother of three daughters. She can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.