I've been housecleaning my bedroom today. Yes, I am one of those old-fashioned women who still gives the house a thorough annual cleaning. I have slipped a little, because my mother taught me to do both spring and fall housecleaning. These days, due to having only three people in the house instead of the eight (and therefore less dirt) and the fact that my back limits such streneous activity, I spread my housecleaning out over the year instead of a six-week period every spring and fall as I used to do.
As I swept and turned the mattress, I was already anticipating the pleasure tonight of hoisting myself into the high antique bed in which I was born and lying down between the air-dried sheets and quilt. (OK Smarty! I heard that snicker! The bed was already old when I was born.)
I feel sorry for the people who have never known (or forgotten) how it feels to go to bed in a room that smells of soap, window cleaner, furniture polish, and fresh air. Oh yes! I know there are many things far more important than a spotless bedroom. I certainly want to leave a greater legacy behind than a clean house and would consider myself a failure if my obituary headline could say nothing better than, "Meticulous housekeeper." Still, there is a great sense of satisfaction in going to bed in a room that smells of furniture polish and fresh air. I get to experience it only once a year. And that, to me, is the smell of spring.