With rain deterring me from my normal sunny spring diversions, I decided to engage in an annual event my mother instituted when we were kids: spring cleaning. Spring in Illinois is almost as cold and dreary as the winter months, as opposed to California, where the sun normally lures you away from domestic duties.
This year I had no excuse. Plenty of rainy day opportunities to sift through boxes, scrutinize cabinets, and peer under beds looking for rambunctious dust bunnies (or in my case, dust elephants.) It’s amazing the treasures you can find hidden in your closet.
One such treasure was a wedge-shaped piece of bright yellow foam with an indentation for a head. How could I forget that I own one of the infamous cheese hats worn by Green Bay Packer fans whose brain cells have evidently been impaired from spending far too much time in subzero weather. Question One: Why would anyone send me a cheese hat? Question two: Why have I kept it for the past 12 years?
Then there’s the bird bath I found in a corner of the garage, a lovely piece featuring three yellow cats holding up the bath, their Cheshire cat grins mocking my incredibly bad taste. Since I bought this oddity myself, I have no excuse other than to blame it on too many margaritas. Surely alcohol must have been involved in that purchase.
I discovered never-worn clothes, their price tags screaming sizes I couldn’t possibly fit into again. Time to share the wealth with Goodwill and hope their new owners will enjoy them.
By the time my day was done, I had accumulated four car loads of goodies to donate. I had also walked down memory lane and discovered a few precious mementos: the mint julep glass from the 1972 Kentucky Derby, the Santa mug my aunt hand painted, the child size rocking chair my daughter rocked in during her toddler years, and the homemade heart crafted by my son in preschool inscribed to “Mom.”
Spring cleaning not only provided a treasure trove for others, but it provided me with the opportunity to savor some of the most cherished moments of my life.
So, what interesting items have you discovered in the back of your closet during spring cleaning? Any dead bodies? Ex-husbands? Dead exes?
Submit a comment by April 15 (that date has such a familiar ring), and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win your choice of a $25 Macy’s gift card (so you can buy more stuff to replace what you gave away), or a slightly-used Cheese Head hat!