May Poem–and STILL Doing Spring Housecleaning!

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, May 3, 1914:

Brighter days are surely dawning,

Where the flowers peep from their places,

When the birds commence their buildings,

And all things are looking fairer,

Then comes the month of May.

Pandemonium reigned today in the sitting room, and it is going to stay that way for awhile I think. Wish house cleaning days were over.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Whew, what happened? Was Grandma’s mother angry that she wasn’t working hard enough?

The Muffly’s spring housecleaning seems way over the top. They started cleaning at least 10 days prior to this entry. On April 22, Grandma wrote:

Spent part of the day on my knees. Now I don’t mean I was trying to be good. I was cleaning house. . .

Grandma began the month with a poem—as she did on the 1st of every month. For more information about the poems see this previous post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

32 Responses

  1. Oh I know exactly how she feels about the ‘spring cleaning!’ Love the poem idea for each month.

    • I’ve been surprised how she has stuck with the format of having a poem on the first day of every month. If it was me, I think that I’d forget to write a poem some months.

      • It seems like it was very important for her to mark the beginnings of months. As a real poetry person, I just love the idea and may even steal it from her!!!

  2. Seems there are to be no shortcuts with the cleaning.

    • We have vacuums now, but chores like picking up, dusting, mopping, etc. really haven’t changed much across the years.

  3. I took the “pandemonium” reference to mean that their sitting room was all torn up from the cleaning…. Gosh, I’m feeling guilty about my lack of spring cleaning. (NOT)

    • You might be right. . I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it makes sense that the room may have been all torn up from the cleaning.

  4. Wish I could raise tulips. None of the buds would survive the deer.

  5. My recollection of spring cleaning was not an inch was left unturned. Poor Grandma.

  6. My guess is the room was overturned as every corner was in the process of being cleaned.

    • They sure cleaned thoroughly back then. Except when we paint a room or do some other big project, we never totally overturn a room today.

  7. Wow, that’s an awful lot of spring cleaning.

    • I wonder how the house could have possibly been dirty enough that they needed to work at cleaning it for more than a week and a half.

  8. I wish I would buckle down and spend 10 days on spring cleaning! My house full of boys would have it all undone in a matter of moments though so really what would be the point? :) I think I need to just resign myself to the fact that things will not be as clean as I would like until they are grown and gone and I’m no hurry for that to happen.

  9. My mom did spring cleaning like that too. Once a year everything got washed and cleaned. I’m talking pull out the fridge and stove, empty cupboards and wash them, wash all knick knacks, wash base boards, walls, windows, take mattresses and rugs outside and beat them with a stick, etc. It was scary!

  10. See? Change is good–we do spring cleaning but it isn’t ANYthing like what Helena’s is dealing with!

    • I agree. I try to spread my cleaning out across they year–though I think that I do my most thorough cleaning in the fall before Thanksgiving.

  11. Spring cleaning was supposed to be done top to bottom, under and over every single thing. It must have been grueling labor. I get the urge now too – fresh start and all. But I rarely get past a closet or two, manage to move winter clothes away and summer things in. Lots more to do that doesn’t get done all at once. Takes me all year to do spring cleaning but it manages to get done. :)

  12. They did some heavy cleaning back then. Taking everything out of a room and painting or papering it…freshening it all up. :)

  13. I am doing a bit of spring cleaning too, but I don’t have that kind of energy! Beautiful poem and flowers to start a new month! Happy May Day!

  14. […] the last 18 days, you weren’t just doing the spring housecleaning, you were also getting a room (the sitting room?) ready to be […]

  15. Just catching up with responding to the blog. When you asked was her mother angry, I wonder did you take that from “pandemonium”? If yes, I took it that everything was pulled out to be cleaned and a huge mess before putting everything back in order.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 982 other followers

%d bloggers like this: