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 thoughts on “May Poem–and STILL Doing Spring Housecleaning!

    1. 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.

      1. 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!!!

  1. 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)

    1. 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.

    1. I have the same problem. I was very optimistic last fall and planted lots of tulip bulbs–but this spring the deer ate almost all of them before they had a chance to bloom.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. Makes sense to me. Enjoy these years with your sons because–and I know it’s a cliche–they’ll be grown before you know it. :)

  3. 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!

    1. 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.

  4. 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. :)

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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