The other day I heard this dirty phrase uttered in my presence. It really set my teeth on edge. I wanted to take a bar of soap and wash the gal's mouth out.

I'm going to try and tell you what it is, if my editor doesn't censor it.

Are you ready?

I'll whisper it.

spring cleaning

Oh, I know it isn't a dirty phrase to many, but in my world, it ranks right up there with "ironing" and "diet."

I guess I can't help but remember the spring cleaning of my grandmother's day.

When the winter weather began to be replaced by bright sunny spring, the house was gone over with a fine tooth comb, from top to bottom.

The big rugs were rolled up and thrown over the wash line. They used a rug beater, thick coiled wire with a wooden handle, and beat those suckers within an inch of their lives.

Of course as a kid, I thought it looked like fun and begged to have a whack at it, getting a nose full of dust for my efforts. I quickly learned it wasn't as much fun as I thought. After a few good whacks, it became more like work.

Looking back on it now, it probably was a good way for women to get a lot of frustrations out of their systems. Think about it, twice a year they could take several good whacks at all their gripes.

"Take that, you #%*0!/* boss!" "I hate starching his shirts!" "Why can't I lose 20 pounds?"

My grandparents had wooden venetian blinds on every window. Those too came out on the wash line and Mammy scrubbed each one. I might have been young, but I knew I'd never have venetian blinds in my house.

Spring cleaning in my mom's world may have been a little easier. She didn't have venetian blinds to clean, for one thing. But she did have a linoleum kitchen floor and every spring and fall, the wax was scrubbed off and a new coat had to be applied. I remember when she got an electric buffer to help make the job easier. Man, that looked like so much fun! Until I did it. Then, not so much.

As a newly married woman, living in our first tiny apartment, spring cleaning was a breeze! Instead of days and weeks, I did it in one day.

Can I tell you the most exciting thing about spring cleaning?

Moving the furniture.

I loved when Mom switched the living room furniture around in different positions. It was like walking into a new house!

Over the years, living in our own larger home, working, raising a daughter, spring cleaning stretched out over into summer cleaning. Forget fall cleaning. Eventually, rooms got cleaned when time presented itself.

Now, older (wiser is debatable), just cleaning on a weekly basis is an accomplishment, forget about spring cleaning.

Recently I watched an episode of that TV show "Hoarders." Now that's an incentive to do spring cleaning!

Spring cleaning affords us an opportunity to "purge" closets, rooms, garage, basement and attic of stuff that takes up space and clutters up our lives.

It got me thinking that maybe spring cleaning is an opportunity to "purge" ourselves mentally of stuff that takes up space and clutters up our thoughts.

So, if you do any spring cleaning, here's hoping you sweep away the cobwebs in your heart, dust off those good intentions and follow through, and may your springtime be fresh and clean.

"Spring Cleaning"

I saw a little dust bunny, hiding underneath the bed,

I thought he was alone but found a family there instead.

A beautiful silky strand dangled loose across the wall,

Some busy little creature had spun others down the hall.

My closet's over flowing with shoes and clothes galore,

Deciding what will stay or go will be a monumental chore.

The windows wear a coating, of many a winter's tear,

They cry out for a washing, to be shiny, clean and clear.

It's once again Spring Cleaning time, according to old school,

Scrubbing, washing, sweeping is the housewife's golden rule.

But there are flowers blooming, and the robins are a'singing,

And Father Sun is shining, warmer days he is a'bringing.

This leaves me not quite ready to be wielding brush or broom,

So I think I'll go outside instead and play in Mother Nature's room.