Down with Spring Cleaning!

 Posted by at 11:58  Down with
Nov 032013
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I hate Spring!

It promises so much with those April showers and the resulting May flowers.; those buds popping out all over the trees and bushes; the promise of  outdoor barbeques and sunsets on the patio. It is all quite enticing after months of cold blustery weather trapped inside. But that’s not all that Spring brings.

Those first warm days bring other promises as well. The promises my wife extorts from me- at first with gentle suggestions but quickly building to a crescendo of unpleasant nagging. She wants me to do some Spring cleaning. It starts simply enough when I innocently observe how nice it is outside. So she takes a look returning a few minutes later with a scowl on her face.

“You are going to clean up the yard?” she asks.

After the spring Cleaning

Finally ready for sitting

And I suddenly realize that no good deed goes unpunished. The Spring cleaning genie has been released from the bottle and there will be no peace until it is satisfied. You might think that some simple steps would suffice, rearranging the outdoor furniture and removing and storing the covers. You would be wrong because each simple step has a related and more complicated association. You can’t arrange the furniture without washing the patio, which means moving all the pots and pruning the plants in those pots. Some of the pots need replanting so, of course they get moved to the side yard to await a trip to the nursery. Which causes further complications.

“This side yard sure is an eyesore!”

My wife hardly ever visits the side yard which makes it a perfect location for storage and work in transition. I’ve got bags of charcoal, potting soil and amendments. There are empty pots and pots with unsightly contents and even some gardening implements leaning against the wall. It’s a bit untidy, I confess but it saves me from the chore of finding an out of the way place to store them. The task expands.

“You don’t need all these pots? Do you?”

My serene demeanor flees as the tasks escalate. For my wife, this is all a logical process. Life should be tidy and all untidiness must be stamped out immediately. There is no tomorrow. Do it now!   For me , it’s a case of life going rapidly out of control. I accept that Spring cleaning is inevitable but I rebel at the growing snowball of tasks. This simple task could take weeks to finish culminating with a fresh coat of paint.  I need to do something.

“Let’s focus on the back yard.” I insist.

I know that if I don’t object this project will inflate to fill the entire day and that my wife’s solution for anything she considers to be clutter is to throw it away. It is exhausting to protect my turf from her onslaught once it gets going.   I steer her to the back yard, hoping to keep her focused on the task at hand.

Hours later, the patio is clean and the outdoor furniture is arranged in an inviting grouping. Extraneous items have been removed from sight and the yard is now an inviting place for reading or flower watching. I can tell because my wife spent ten minutes out there last weekend. I’m not overconfident that my Spring cleaning problems are over just yet, however. Because I’ve been around this block before. She hasn’t forgotten the side yard. She is just waiting for a strategic advantage and she has claimed her next campaign. Next week we are cleaning the garage.



Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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  9 Responses to “Down with Spring Cleaning!”

  1. Just remember Ralph, that in a marriage, the woman is the Director, and the man is only a two bit actor, having to repeat scenes until he gets it right.
    Good job on the patio. Looks great. A cozy place to relax, entertain, read, and get the hell out of the house when the wife is on one of them self improvement programs; You bein’ the self that needs the improvin’.

  2. Hansi,
    You pegged it. I’ve been her project for 40 years now. It seems unkind to point our what little progress she had made in those years so I keep my mouth shut. This would be a bad time for her to give up.

  3. Ralph, you’ll LOVE my post that will be up tomorrow afternoon at JM. It is the perfect followup to your post…LOL.

    Sometimes I read things like ths and am reminded how glad I am that my ex decided to reboot…

  4. Bob,
    So you had nothing to do with the decision? Sometimes the single life does seem appealing but after all these years, it would be a challenge.

  5. Ralph, here a wall, go ahead and bang your head against it, until you are ready to go get the yard cleaned. If it wasn’t for rain and snow here I would be doing the same thing

  6. Justin,
    Cleaning the yard is just like banging my head against a wall. It feels so good when I stop.

  7. I wouldn’t mind the throwing away so much as it always seemed to be followed with the buying of more… followed by more throwing away, and round and round it goes.

  8. Yeah, cleaning sucks sometimes. But you feel so much better when you’re all done.

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