Spring Cleanin'

Remembrances of my childhood...

The first sunny Saturday in March or early April was reserved for spring cleanin’ when I was a boy. That meant all the beds were to be broken down in each room and the box springs and mattresses were taken out in the yard and sunned - all day. We had saved any large pieces of cardboard to lay the mattresses on to keep everything up and off the grass. While we kids were beatin’ the beddin’ with a broom, mom was on her hands and knees, striping all the floor wax off the wooden floors. That generally took all morning and after lunch, she would say, “turn ‘um over” and we would turn the mattresses over and sweep and beat the other side. Mom was again on her hands and knees, this time putting down the new floor wax by hand in each of the three small rooms we used as bedrooms.

mom would remind me that I needed to help her with the Spring cleanin’

Dad had generally stayed in town after working all night to do the shoppin’ and would get home on the noon bus especially if he had any meats that needed to be put in our little refrigerator. This routine continued from the time I was a small boy up until a few years before my mom’s passing. She would have been 92 in 1999 if she had lived until August 24th. She died two days after my birthday and five days before Mother’s Day in May of 1999. My dad had passed in December of 1960 while I was just 17 and the only child still at home. I stayed at home with mom for seven more years to help her out, then left at age twenty-four to take care of my military obligation like my brothers and dad had done before me. Even after I had started my family and would be planning on coming home on leave, mom would remind me that I needed to help her with the spring cleanin’. By then I certainly knew what all that meant and was quite capable of following her routine and instruction.

When you were growing up did your mom sun the mattresses?

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My mom didn't raise a fool...

I really didn't mind. Mom just wanted to make sure she had a clean house. She was a hardworking lady and had been all her life. It gave me great pleasure to see her scurrying around, not wanting to miss a thing. I did noticed that she didn't use the old Johnson paste wax like before, but she still crawled around on her hands and knees with that old bucket of varsol cleaner to remove the old wax. I guess some things just can't be improved upon, and with me helping also meant I would again have opportunity to put my feet under her table for some good ole home cookin'. My mom didn't raise a fool I always said.

I hurt in places I didn't even know I had

"After a day at work your bed will sure feel good tonight," she would always say. I really didn't remember tossin' and turnin' too much before I was finally fast asleep those nights after spring cleanin'. And it was certainly worth it to see the gleam in my mom's eye. Of course the next morning I hurt in places I didn't even know I had. But not mom, she was always found hummin' around the kitchen, fixin' us all a good breakfast. She always said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, and we needed to start out with all the strength we could because we didn’t always know what the day would bring. Just in case the next day was a pretty day also, and then sometimes she would remind me. "You think we can get to those windows today...?"

© 2010 SamSonS

Comments 25 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I don't remember it too well but we did either move some of the furniture out of the house or into other rooms.I sometimes wonder why we don't do it now but I wouldn't want to.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks dahoglund for your remarks...


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

With this interesting, readable hub about spring cleaning, samsons, you reminded me of something I had almost forgotten. When I was a child, my mother and grandmother (who lived with us) would have a cleaning woman come in to clean once a week.

But the day before, my mother and grandmother would work very hard to make the place spotless. They didn't want the cleaning woman to come in and find a dirty house.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks drbj for sharing your reminisce. In my mom's later years she did the same thing...


Specialk3749 profile image

Specialk3749 6 years ago from Michigan

I wonder what my kids would do if I told them we were going to take the mattresses out in the yard to sun!? LOL It makes me laugh just thinking about their facial expressions.

No wonder you mom lived to be in her 90's, she worked very hard.


loriamoore 6 years ago

I need to do some Fall cleaning. :-)


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

It certainly does bring back memories.


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

All of that I remember,too.(I'm 61..will be Friday ,rather.) My family put the mattresses up on saw horses and the roof of the car. My grandmother was worse than that. she kept her front porch apinted to a fair-the-well, and MOPPED it almost daily with a few drops of Pine-Sol in the water. To this day, when I smell Pine-Sol, I think of that clean, cheerful, grey porch!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks Specialk3749, we do live in a different era...

*thank you lariamoore, good luck with your cleanin'

*thank your carolina, for your visit and time to reminisce...

*hey, bayoulady- thank you for stoppin' by and isn't it funny how just little things bring back memories of a simpler life, and by the way, I painted my mom's porch *gray and likewise she sweep and mopped it daily; my sister still does and she's 79...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Oh Samsons,

How you bring back the memories. Thanks for your contribution to us hubbers. It's nice to remember the simple life, whenever that was.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank your pastor, and your gracious comments...


Judicastro profile image

Judicastro 6 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

Hi Samson

Fun memories. My mom's idea of spring cleaning was to rearrange the whole house. I too lost my dad in the 60's. 62 as a matter of fact and I was 13 and the only child left at home like you. Those were very hard and sad years. My sister is 12 years older and she was married and gone. When dad died that was the end of dinners around the table. We recently lived with a friend for a few months that shortly after we arrived she announced it was time for spring cleaning. Yes the beds went out as did the pillows, etc. She went through that place with military efficiency.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Judicastro; I always wait to see if you respond, thank you for your faithfulness. No, I didn't mention the pillows did I; well mom took those out a couple times a year. We just hod the old feather pillows, none of those fancy filled one like today. Ahhh, those were the days...


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

My most hated job during spring cleaning, and yes it was my job was to do the paste-waxing of all of the hardwood flooring on the main floor of the house.Saturday morning,cleaning day, I'd get up at 6:00am. just to get it done to mom's satisfaction so that I could go out to play, and God forbid, if I missed a spot, according to mom's eyes.

Brother Dave.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

hey Dave, glad you stopped by, yes, mom's had an eye for anything missed. When we did windows, I was outside on a ladder and she of course on the inside and she could always spot the areas I missed...


fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

You have a unique ministry! To remind people of days long gone and cause us to reflect on the simplicity of that time is a gift. It should cause us to be thankful for every day of our lives and realize that every new day we are creating memories for ourselves and others.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks fred, I always enjoy your comments and you hit the nail on the head. Those precious times we hold in our hearts and those we love so dear...


breathe2travel profile image

breathe2travel 6 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

I am in the middle of spring cleaning... but can only do a little bit at a time. I never considered sunning the mattresses or pillows -- but I bet it's worth the effort to drag 'em out -- now we have 6 beds in our home, regularly slept on -- 1 king, 1 full, and 4 twin... (5 kids) -- is it okay to do in high humidity climate?

I enjoyed reading your story.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks breathe2travel, for your friendship, your visit and your comments- I likewise live in the SE-US, but it must not be be as humid in TENNESSEE as where your are. We house cleaned in the Spring as temperatures were rising and I don't know just how mom would pick such a glorious day, but she did. Back then we didn't have the bed 'fillings' (foam, etc) as today and the 'day in the sun' seemed to rejuvenate the mattresses, pillows and the like.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

lol, lol, I am cleaning right NOW!!!! lol, lol, GREAT writing, surley bring back memories!!! voted-up!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks drpastorcarlotta, and good luck with your cleaning...


matt6v33 profile image

matt6v33 6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

Hello Sir,

Wow, how u have flood my mind, and hearts, with such oh so warm memories, of times past. Wonderful just wonderful! Keep writing sir, keep writing! plz!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey matt6v33, glad to see ya' thanks for the encouraging comments...


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I don't remember ever airing mattresses but Mom worked and whistled and sang from daylight til dark, sometimes sitting to sew on that treadle sewing machine, still whistling and singing and that foot peddling away!


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thank you again Polly for sharing you sweet reminisce...

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