March 20

Posted on: March 20, 2013

The chilly nights gave way quickly to a more moderate fifty degrees, and that meant open windows to me, and fresh air sleeping.  Listening to the woods wake up in the Spring is very special: the night birds coming back, the animals rustling around in the leaves looking for food.  I was very excited to hear geese honking high above us, and I almost wept with joy to hear the very distinctive call of the Hermit Thrush looking for his mate.

This morning’s 52* grew to 65* by noon and I knew how I wanted to spend the day: washing curtains and hanging them in the sunshine!  John helped me sort thru the coils of rope stacked on a shelf.  After the blizzard was over, we retrieved all the ropes, carefully rewinding them, tying them individually and hoping we wouldn’t need them for a long time.  The shorter coils I knew were my clotheslines from last Fall.

I was giddy.  “You don’t know how this makes me feel!  I love the way things smell that have dried outside.”   There is only room for four fifteen foot lines, but it’s enough.

“Since you’ll be spending the afternoon washing curtains, you don’t mind if I take the four-wheeler out for a ride, do you?” John asked, pulling the last clothesline tight.

“No, of course not,” I replied, when actually I was disappointed I wouldn’t have the extra set of hands for some of the other work I had in mind.


I took down all the curtains in the kitchen and dining room, setting them to wash.  Then I started washing the windows they came off of.  Yikes!  Months’ worth of wood smoke was evident as I sprayed on the window cleaner, watching it drip in dirty streaks.  I had to wash each one twice, but now they sparkle.  When I got to the glass door-wall, I also had to clean the track that was full of mud and bird seed; no wonder it was getting hard to move; tooth picks and a tooth brush were needed to dig under the metal rod that guided the door.

When the first load of curtains was waving gently on the clothesline, I put the next load in: the bedroom and hallway.  Since this room was the furthest from the wood stove, the windows weren’t quite as dirty, but still needed cleaning.  As each window was cleaned, I left it open to help air the house out.

Trying to be systematic, I then moved the dining table, swept and mopped under it, moved it back and did the same to the rest of the room in preparation of hanging the clean window coverings back up.  For some reason I felt an urgency to clean, or maybe it was just the warm breezes that was stirring me on.  With the power readily available now, I vacuumed the bedroom and as a last thought, stripped the bed and washed those sheets too.  We might even get fresh pillowcases tonight!

When the sheets finally went on the line, and all the curtains were back on the windows, I started cleaning up the yard from the winter; a very harsh winter in more ways than one.  I stopped, leaned on the rake, getting my cloth hanky out of a pocket, to wipe the tears as memories bombarded me.  I tamped down the emotions and lifted my face into the sun, welcoming its heat.


With all the curtains cleaned and back up, windows washed, floors cleaned, even freshly sun-dried sheets back on the bed, I sat down in my rocker with a sigh of satisfaction.  It was then I realized it was almost 6:00 ….. And John was still not home.

The kids would be over soon for dinner.  It was our Wednesday spaghetti night, and I had yet to put it together.  I found a jar of pork shreds that would do for the meat, and two jars of sauce I made last summer; a pound of linguini instead of my usual angel-hair was next; then a package of ramen for Jacob.  My arms were full as I walked out of the pantry, almost bumping into John.  My heart leaped; I was so glad to see him.

“Did you have a good ride?” I asked, though I really wanted to tell him I was getting worried.

“Yes, I did.  It was a beautiful day.  Let me help with that,” and he took two of the jars from me.  As we set everything down on the work island, he turned back to me.  “The house looks great; nothing like fresh air.”  Small talk.  Inane, stupid, small talk.  I wanted to scream. It was burning in me to know where he had been all this time, but just then the kids came in and the moment was lost.

1 thought on “March 20

  1. Would love to have that kind of weather here. Everything has that ‘end of winter’ dingyness.
    Wonder what John is up to. Now that I have a “face” for him (Bruce), it’s easier to picture everything happening!

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