Monday, April 7, 2014

AtoZ Freakout of the Groundhog Day Variety

Welcome once again to Tongue In Cheek. You all must have very strong constitutions to head back here for more. Today we have a rerun from 2012. It does get serious in one paragraph near the end. (I can't be all fun and games all the time around here.) But there's enough zaniness in the beginning to more than make up for it.

I also give you a peek at my back story, which may or may not explain everything. But at least it gives you a bigger picture. I hope you enjoy...

My Annual Groundhog Day Freakout

IM conversation between me and The Man earlier:

Me: Where do we keep our Liquid Nails?

The Man: Ummmm, at the store where they sell it?

Me: Ok. Do we have any more expanding foam? I broke our can of it and could really use some.

TM: Where are you?

Me: At home. Duh.

TM: What the hell are you doing?

Me: Nothing, at the moment, because I don't have the proper tools. Thus the questions. So are you going to help me out or what?

TM: I'm afraid to ask with what.

Me: Just the info I need. So what about the foam?

TM: I'm not answering that.

Me: Fine. But know this, if you're not with me you're against me. Just like the Urchins.

TM: For the record, I'm okay with that. Now can I get back to class?

Me: Fine, but we may need to go out to dinner tonight until the fumes disperse.

TM: Why?

Me: Why do we need to evacuate from fumes?

TM: No. Why all this?

Me: It's Groundhog Day.

TM: (silence) (more silence) Of course it is.

Yes, I have descended into the madness of spring cleaning and it's all the fault of that damn groundhog.

Growing up, I lived in a three story center hall colonial that was owned by my grandmother. Three generations under one roof. Let me tell you, that was...interesting.

But to add to the festivities, my grandmother, the matriarch of the household who could chew nails and spit rust, filled her home with antiques. Antiques  she acquired or fixed on her own. The house was like a museum. Only a museum where you'd never see everything, even if you lived there.

Believe me. I know.

This house had nine rooms, one and a half baths and three large halls. Plus a storage room and cellar. All full up to the brim with antiques. And we cleaned all of it. One room at a time. Now, when I say clean, I mean clean. My grandmother grew up on a farm and lived through the Great Depression. She knew how to clean a house.

First you'd empty the room of furniture. Then the curtains would be taken down and washed. Then you'd scrub the walls and ceilings. Next you would shampoo the oriental rugs by hand after beating them as they hung over the outdoor clothesline. Next you'd refinish the pine wood floors with homemade shellac. (Don't get me started on homemade shellac.)

Next every piece of furniture was dusted, waxed and polished. (We had 63 chairs in that house alone. I kid you not.) After that, all the knickknacks, most as fragile as egg shell, had to be dusted and put back exactly where they belonged. After all that, you reassembled the room. The whole process took several days of non-stop cleaning.

Then you started on the next room. Shampoo, rinse and repeat. Twelve times.

Now at my own house, for the majority of the year, I rebel against the mantra that was pounded into my head from a very young age - A place for everything and everything in its place. But right before Groundhog Day I find myself blurting it out.

And I know it's time. The groundhog is my alarm. Spring is coming. And along with it, spring cleaning.

But this year, I've taken it one step further into the realm of home repair. And I know I wouldn't be going that far if it weren't for the fact that my wonderful dog is dying. Everyday, it's a little harder for her to get up. A little harder to get around. She's eating less and less. I give her love every time I walk past. I tell her she's a good girl.

And I just want to bawl.

So I'm throwing myself into my spring cleaning with even more zealous gusto than usual. Here, right in front of me - this house- is something I can fix. Something I can put right. Since I can't fix Sox.

And so for now and the immediate days ahead I'm obsessive and fanatical and Puritanical in my need to cleanse and repair. And it's all the groundhog's fault.


Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

Remove all the furniture and scrub the walls??!! Oh my, I don't think I've ever done that unless we were completely redecorating.
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

Sophie Duncan said...

Now that's what I call OTT, even for Spring Cleaning. The nearest we get to that in our house is moving all the furniture away from the walls/windows in our conservatory so we can wash down the glass of the windows.
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

Pat Hatt said...

haha my ocd likes your kind of clean

Lynda Dietz said...

We also were taught this is the ONLY way to clean. I have to remind myself that we don't have a furnace that burns coal and therefore don't need to scrub the walls down in the spring and fall. And the thought of tackling it all in one bunch is completely overwhelming to me.

Even so, when my mom comes to visit, she always wants to "help" by washing my curtains, regardless of where I could actually use the help.

Sherry Ellis said...

Darn groundhogs!

randi lee said...

Me: Fine. But know this, if you're not with me you're against me. Just like the Urchins.

I laughed out loud at this for a couple of minutes straight!! Thanks for the giggles...and I feel your pain, I sure do!

Crystal Collier said...

We never really did spring cleaning. My mom was a clean freak and spent every day, all day cleaning. Crazy, right? She should have pawned more of it off on us, but I suppose you get what you get. (That conversation was hilarious.)

Jodie said...

Oh my heart is broken for you and your puppy. I love your writing style!

Liz Blocker said...

Oh Ava, you had me laughing out loud up until the end, and then I got choked up. This is a great post. Your grandmother sounds AMAZING, by the way, even if her cleaning techniques make me want to run and hide. What WERE you doing with the foam, anyway??

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My grandparents would clean like that too. It's a lost art or perhaps a cured craziness.

Kate Larkindale said...

Wow! Now that's what I call a good spring clean! Want to come and do my house? It needs it...

Brandon Ax said...

Now that is cleaning. I could sue some of that here.

Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm picky when it comes to cleaning just right, but you've outdone my efforts.

Lexa Cain said...

Me too! I often start wigging out when spring comes, doing tons of laundry, sewing repairs, and cleaning. Thankfully the madness doesn't last long. Soon, I've regained my senses and am back in front of the TV, eating ice cream, like a normal person. ;)

Andrea said...

And suddenly everything you did made sense!. Oh, how I try to restore order in my world in the most basic means possible when other things fall out of my control.......

joss said...

Wow! I'm glad we don't have ground hog day over here. reminders to clean are the last thing I need. So sorry to here about your puppy dog.It's never easy to lose one of our babies. Sending you big virtual hugs back through time to when you were really needing them :) and you can have one now too (((((hugs)))))

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