Local News

April 1, 2013

Seniors share memories of spring cleaning



“We’ll see.”

She also has a unique set of winter curtains that she made from felt that covered the rollers at the old Diamond National plant, where her husband worked. They are warm and heavy and keep out the cold winter winds.


Joan remembers taking up small area rugs and hanging them out for a good airing on the clothesline, and washing windows at both home and camp.

“I’m a birder, so not only did we spring clean our home in New Jersey and camp in the Adirondacks, but we cleaned out all the birdhouses in the yard so the birds would have a clean place to build new nests,” she said.

Betty remembers how puffy and beautiful feather-tick mattresses were. She described sinking down in the feathers and said she slept very well.

“We also had to drag them outside every spring and shake the feathers so they would fluff up,” she said. “Then we’d lay them on the grass and turn them over and over on a sunny day.”


Water and vinegar seemed to be the consensus for washing windows, and newspapers worked for a spotless drying job. 

“We used cloth diapers back then, too, and when they were worn out, they made the best rags for cleaning and dusting,” Mary Lue said.

Cleaning wasn’t limited to windows, walls and rugs. Wood-stove pipes came down and were “tamped,” Betty remembers. 

Mary Lue’s in-laws removed their small stove completely from the house and stored it for the summer months. 

Nancy enjoys her more relaxed lifestyle at Lake Forest, but it does have its drawbacks.

“It’s a mixed blessing to live at Lake Forest. It’s beautiful, but I miss having the extra room to have family stay with me.” 

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