Weekend essay: ‘Spring’ cleaning

Weekend essay: ‘Spring’ cleaning

Spring arrived just the other day; it came into the world in the usual way – with great ambiguity.

Indeed, we are in both meteorological and calendar spring now. And the bulbed flowers — most not merely peeking above the soil line but shouting “We’re baaaack!” – are the most manifest affirmance.

But as more often than not can be the case, winter can be the loath-to-leave dinner guest we grow to loathe. Just ask the gardener itching to work some soil in a March that came in like a lion with few lamb-like proclivities to be found.

Thus, Project Raised Bed Reconfigurance is on temporary hold. After all, it’s darn difficult to move snow-covered frozen dirt. And it’s just as difficult to move bed frames that are frozen solid to the ground, no matter the persuasion of sledge hammers, handles short or handles long.

So, a good ol’ fashioned spring cleaning has commenced inside. Oh, the “finds” and, oh, the exclamations of “Why this was saved is beyond all rational thought.”

To the former, elder daughter Taylor’s little-girl rocking chair was rediscovered, covered in dark plastic and tucked underneath the basement steps for at least 27 years.

And then, there was the dust-covered old garbage bag. Inside, the wooden baby carriage in which many a doll baby (if not a few pet cats) enjoyed many a ride. She’s been reunited with both treasures.

To the latter, that garbage bag of old clothes inducted into the Rags Hall of Fame, closed tight with its red plastic tie, appeared to have last been opened the day it was first closed.

A review of the contents affirmed as much. Think of, among other things, a pair of pants with a waist size that mocked “Of course, they still fit me” credulity now, let alone two decades ago.

Assorted odds and ends rounded out the basement spring cleaning spree. Seven large garbage bags all told were lugged through the basement door, out to the garage and out back to await “garbage night.”

And how sobering it was to have to clear away a heavy layer of snow just to get those bags to the curb on the second day of spring.

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once wrote of the Lake District in Northwest England that “the spring comes slowly up this way.”

Over this way, too, Sam. Over this way, too.

Colin McNickle is a senior fellow and media specialist at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).