Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music ...
Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music Education from Truman State. Now retired, Rich enjoyed reading, writing music and short essays. He is the director of Kirksville Community Chorus.
MCKNOTES ON SPRING CLEANING PART DEUX
O.K., I know I was moaning about “cabin fever” just last week. So I had a moment of weakness. A lesser man would have, no doubt, crumbled. I just bit the bullet and decided to focus on other things. Then I got the idea that this is a perfect time for spring cleaning. I know it’s coming, sooner or later. Even global warming wouldn’t be rude enough to skip spring. It’s a great time of year when things come to life and the out of doors is alive and calls us to activities we’ve had to table for a number of months. I guess I mean table literally. It’s not uncommon to sit too long at the table and put on what we like to call our winter weight. I managed to escape that this year. Actually, I think more and more people are becoming weight conscious due to a much higher level of knowledge about the dangers of obesity. We’re not there yet, but if we work at it, our children may someday live much longer than we do. That will teach them.
I had to name this episode Spring Cleaning Part Deux. When I tried to file it as Spring Cleaning, I was sarcastically reminded by my know-it-all hard drive that I had already saved such a file. Well excuse me. That article was more about my grooming. Still no calls from Hollywood. It’s too bad really. Given my electronic voice, I’d be a shoo-in for the Robocop series.
But I digress. Spring cleaning can be so rewarding. In fact, it’s so nice to think about the process of renewing everything that I put off some of the regular tasks that should be done in spite of what season we’re in.
One thing I discovered is why it’s called spring cleaning. Once the sun comes out, we start seeing cobwebs and dust balls that previously blended into the winter gray. Now they almost dance across the room. If I start at one end of the room, the dust bunnies see me coming and encouraged in the wake of my broom, they bounce around toward even more light, making my cleaning look almost futile. However, I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel, once I clean those windows.
Here’s a tip I learned. The best way to clean windows is with cheap vodka. Put it in a spray bottle and then use coffee filters to wipe down the windows. The coffee filters will leave no lint behind. That would make for a lousy cup of coffee. The vodka won’t streak. If you happen to get the spay bottle turned around the wrong way, just open your mouth and you’ll soon forget about it. Just think how happy the ants and other insects will be as they climb up your windows on an ever so indirect pathway. Maybe they stop to party at the top of the window. I don’t really look up there. I don’t want to get on a ladder after spraying vodka in my mouth all day.
Seriously though, once you start seeing progress, you will realize that you really want to be outside. Now you have the choice of really hurrying through your additional cleaning or scrapping that idea and heading outdoors to see if any of your perennials have lived through the winter. Plants and trees really haven’t had a fair shake lately. Last summer’s drought wiped out plenty of shrubbery, evergreens, small trees and even some flowers. Can I have a chorus of “The Circle of Life?”
Anyway, there’s so much to do. With an eye on spring cleaning, the time to start thinking about tilling the garden grows near. Potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus, beans and so on challenge our green thumb. Just so you know, It doesn’t work to magic marker your thumb green. Nothing will grow any better due to that, not that I’ve tried it. There are, however, some of my books that have mysterious green smudges at the bottom of some pages.
Spring cleaning makes us aware of all the things that can’t be fixed by simply cleaning, so now we have to start thinking about what needs to be painted. My barbeque grill beckons. I’m sure some people clean their grill after every cooking session. I didn’t do that either. Most of the parts are replaceable if you can still find the brand and model of your grill. I did a whole makeover of my propane gas grill last year. Maybe I can get another year out of it.
So life goes on. I’m not the best at any of this. I do understand the significance of spring cleaning. This is when I’d be a terrific foreman. I can point and direct all day long. If you see any cleaning elves sitting around looking bored, send them my way. I’m a benevolent boss. I’ll even make them treats from all of the food stuff that has passed its expiration date during the winter.
On the other hand, it’s not spring yet. I’d hate to be responsible for throwing off the cycle by doing too much spring cleaning too early, so I’ll just wait until it’s actually spring. I’m sure I’ll rally then.