Springtime Blues

Sometimes Spring is about as welcome as a late Winter blizzard.

What with all the chores involved in cleaning, as is seasonally mandated. At least with a blizzard, one has the reasonable excuse to stay in sweats, parked on a couch, watching reruns of Law & Order that have been seen. About a dozen times.

Spring means airing out the house. Exhausting the accumulation of hot air trapped indoors for five months. Or more. And then there’s the hot air produced by the furnace. It’s really not that big a deal, or as exhausting as it may sound. Just open up the windows. Unless they’re painted shut. Like at my house.

But, I’m already well on my way, chipping away at the incredibly long list of Spring chores.

For instance, I changed a lightbulb. Replaced, to be exact. I wasn’t doing it just for practice.

The new bulb is one of those new bulbs. First generation, I suspect. They’re the kind of lightbulb that takes about five minutes before they begin emitting that for which you flipped the switch: Light.

I also changed the furnace filter. A tremendous chore of Herculean proportions. I struggled through, about two months after the time when changing was supposed to be due. Because when the manufacturer says the filter’s good for three months, they really mean five or six, give or take. Change twice annually. The dirt trapped by the filter acts like another filter, right?

There are lots of windows at my house. Lots. And most of them are big.

In the old days, window cleaning occurred using a mixture of vinegar and water, scrubbed by crumpled newspaper. Made no sense to me as newsprint ink typically located itself more or less permanently on my fingers. So why would it clean glass?

Later, I learned, vinegar cuts grime. A handy bit of knowledge for cleaning old furniture. And, by the way, vinegar will also dissolve old glue – in case you have a wiggly chair that needs regluing. That’s another story, though.

And where, today, would one find a printed newspaper?

My house is nested in the woods, surrounded by trees, a haven for birds. Woodpeckers regularly make their presence known by confusing house siding for bark- and bug-bearing trees. (Filling the holes they’ve drilled is another seasonal chore.)

Dumb robins fly at the windows, flinging themselves mercilessly and pecking the glass. They don’t recognize their own reflections, mistaking the reflection for an intruder on their territory.

The pecking deposits robin snot on the glazing.

One must wait for the kamikaze robins to build their nests and cease attacking the glass before beginning the window cleaning.

Window cleaning, then, can be postponed almost indefinitely. Helpfully, for the indolent among us, there is always a reason to delay a chore.

Time to raise a fuss and a holler.

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