Monday, October 7, 2013

Sweep the Floor Clean

common broom: none
Source: lusi
Mama said we gotta clean this whole damn place.  “Every inch of it!” she said.

Mama filled up a bucket of scrubbing soap that smelled like pine tree.  She handed me a rag, and we started scrubbing.  Scrubbing hard, like there was sin in every crack. 

From the ceiling to the floor, Mama scrubbed, scrubbed some more.  Then she changed the water with more pine stuff. 

What was I doing?  “Sweep the floor!  You gotta sweep clean!”  So I did what Mama said.  Then she told me to do it all over again. 

Mama filled another bucket of water and pine stuff.  Gave me a stiff brush, got on her knees, and started scrubbing the floor in big circles.  She sent me to work  along  side, so as we’d scrub from one end to the other.

She dumped the bucket, put clear water and a dose of pine stuff.  And we started all over again, circle and circle, on our knees.  Did this until the water ran clear at the end.  Thought we was done.
But no.  We got some old rags and rinsed off the pine water.  One end to the other.


Then Mama stood up.  “You always gotta sweep the floor clean.”  That was what we done.

Went out to the porch where a cool breeze was blowing.  Mama had some coffee and a cigarette.  I had some water.

I asked her why men didn't do this, since as it was darn hard work.

"Men don't know much about cleaning the house."  She took a long hard drag on the cigarette.  "They don't know much at all."

25 comments:

  1. Your story, Susan, brought back memories of my wonderful, hard-working mother and that horrible-smelling Pine-Sol.

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    1. Oh a fellow floor scrubber! The smell of Pine-Sol stirs such olfactory memories!

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  2. lol some glad I'm not that strict about cleaning

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    1. You can have your cats clean up for you, right?

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  3. They sure know how to get things dirty though lol.

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    1. Mom would be furious about the boys and Dad tracking in mud and such. She finally 'convinced' them to take off their boots out in the breezeway.

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  4. It was Murphy's Oil Soap at our house. And, my brothers scrubbed the downstairs floors. I had to scrub the bathroom upstairs. My brothers had to learn to iron their shirts, too, when my youngest brother complained about the job I did. It was the last time I ironed their shirts, and I didn't even plan it that way.

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    1. Mom started using Murphy's Oil on the paneling after I had gone to college. My younger sister had that chore!

      When Mom got a steam iron, we all rejoiced.

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  5. Mama's a tough cookie. Glad my wife doesn't harp on me about the cleaning job I do around the house, although she does take to certain areas during the weekend to do some extra cleaning on her own. Things don't get all that dirty around here with just the two of us. At least it all looks just fine to me.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. At my mother's home on the farm, she fought a constant battle with Dad & brothers tracking in mud. Within a very short time, they had learned to take off the boots in the breeze way.

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  6. Just love Mama, and Mama is right, if my husband is anything to go by, he is very willing but has no idea about really clean.
    Don't worry too much about the blood red eyes, they discover they are looking at the carved head of a Viking dragon long boat :0)

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    1. My mom was fanatical when it came to spring cleaning. It was a process I will never forget.

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  7. Memories. And I still don't feel the floor is really clean until I have scrubbed it by hand. Which means it isn't often really clean.

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    1. I feel so guilty about the tile in the kitchen right now. It is a good thing I cannot see it when I am on the computer.

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  8. That is what I would call super clean

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  9. That's more scrubbing in one day than I do in ten years!
    holy doughnuts! I do mop over the floor occasionally. It's probably not enough, but it does me fine.

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    1. It may have been my mother and grandmothers who had this ingrained idea about precisely clean.

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  10. This really brought back memories of my grandmother :) thank you

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    1. Did you get in on the cleaning process?

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  11. Hi Susan,

    Sorry I haven't been over at your site much lately. I have a lot of multitasking to do. Just finished cleaning my house from top to bottom. And now I shall go and brush up my blog site. Could do with a clean sweep....

    Gary :)

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  12. I'll bet your mom would not have thought kindly about the Swiffer! Sorry that you had to work so hard. I wouldn't be surprised if you still could eat off of the floors in your house.

    Julie

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  13. Ohhhhhhh I could smell the Pine Sol. That's how we cleaned floors way back when too. :)

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  14. Brought back some memories when me and my sister were little. My brother and dad always managed to get out of it....

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!