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Thursday, April 14, 2011


When I was a girl at home, my mother put Venetian blinds in our downstairs windows. I was old enough to help with the cleaning and those wide metal slats had to be dusted every week. I hated cleaning them and declared I would never have blinds in my house. I kept my word and never have.
Did you ever notice how fads and fashions seem to rotate? Things that went out of style in the 60s and 70s are now back in style. After Venetian blinds had been out of style for awhile someone decided it was time to bring them back. The slats were multiplied by narrowing them down and the result was mini-blinds. A generation has risen up that knew not the horrors of cleaning blinds, latched onto the new "cool" look and installed mini-blinds all over their houses. But I had not forgotten and no mini-blinds ever covered my windows. So why was I down on my hands and knees on the front portch this afternoon scrubbing mini-blinds with a scrub brush?
They are not mine! Gerald bought a house in January which needs quite a bit of cleaning. That's not a good environment for a person who is allergic to household dust and mites. I've been working on it and bit by bit and the place is beginning to improve. On Monday I cleaned all the windows in the three bedrooms upstairs and brought home the mini-blinds from two of the rooms. I figured it would be easier clean them in between other things here at home than trying to do them at his house.
One of our other sons also bought a house several years ago that had mini-blinds everywhere. Those were dirty too but they cleaned relatively easily by dipping them up and down in a bathtub full of soapy water and then hosing them off outside over the rail fence. Apparently the dirt on these blinds had been on them much longer for it was stuck fast and no amount of dipping or hosing would remove the thick layer of grime. So after soaking them all morning I wound up out on the porch scrubbing each miserable mini-slat with a scrubbing brush and heavy-duty cleaner.
As I scrubbed away I was struck with the irony of the situation. I was never going to have blinds because I don't want to clean them, and here I am cleaning a house full of them for the second time. What would motivate a woman to do that? The only thing I know is a mother's love and ingrained German hatred of grime.
I asked myself if I have gone back on my vow and decided I have not. I never said I would not clean mini-blinds, I only said I would never have them in my house. And I only do them once. I will give my sons a clean start in their houses but after that it is up to them and their wives to keep them clean. And when they get tired of cleaning mini-blinds they can come over on my side and throw out the miserable things.

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