Vinson: House cleaning has value
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:47 am
By MIKE VINSON
"Procrastination" is a constant variable in the human formula: Though some are more prone than others, everyone, at some point in his/her lifetime, purposely puts off doing something he/she knows needs to be done.
There is a "certain corner" in my house (built before 1950) that, because of its general location, doesn't really factor into my daily comings and goings. Needless to say, I have a tendency to neglect this corner in terms of house cleaning.
A large, round, four-leaf oak table sits at the forefront of this corner, with a wooden bookcase sitting behind the oak table, the bookcase tying with the ceiling. Though I can't tell you exactly how old the table and bookshelf are, I can say with certainty they qualify as "antiques," because they've been in our family ever since I can remember.
Now, this bookcase is built into the house's interior, meaning it is fixed in place and non-portable. It is about eight feet tall, has three long shelves at the top, designed, specifically, for storing and arranging books; three separate levels of "space" at the bottom, not as long as the top three shelves and more "boxlike" in configuration. A large "pull-out" drawer separates the three top shelves from the three bottom spaces.
So, the other day, with a homemade cleaning cocktail of warm water, Palmolive Soap, and pine sol, I pulled out the oak table and, as the country ladies used to say, commenced "spring cleaning."
After about three hours of sweeping, scrubbing, and rearranging, I had completed my chore . . . or so I thought: I hadn't pulled out the drawer and checked its contents.
That said, I pulled out the drawer and was immediately taken aback, because the drawer, literally, was overflowing, to the extent that papers fell out on the floor! Somewhat disgusted, my initial thought was to pull out the drawer and empty all the contents inside a trash bag and discard it at the dump.
I don't know why, but something told me, "You might want to take the time to go through these things." Thus, I commenced rummaging through the old wooden drawer-and am I ever glad I did! Amidst the clutter, here are some of the "treasures" I found, or better yet, rediscovered:
*A "pattern" by McCall's for making a woman's dress. This discovery took me way back in time and forced me to recall my mother sitting at the sewing machine, studying a pattern's blueprint, making her "cuts," and sewing together clothing for her two daughters. Not exactly the kind of threads you'll see worn by Paris Hilton or the Kard-dashians, but a priceless memory, nonetheless.
*I have a niece named Samantha, who is in her late 20s, and a great niece named Heather, who is in her early 20s. Lo and behold, I found pictures they had drawn and colored while in grade school (flowers, horses, etc.) and had addressed to "Uncle Mike." More valuable to me than a Van Gogh or Rembrandt!
*My late father, Carlos Vinson, was an outdoor sports writer. Dad was always getting some sort of gear/tool/weapon associated with outdoor sports from various outdoor manufacturers/magazine outlets. After dad passed away in 1981, I remember, over the years, from time-to-time, my late mother, Myrtis, would mention these rare Winchester Knives she'd put back somewhere; however, she couldn't remember where she'd stashed them.
Guess what I found at the bottom of the drawer?
You got it: three Winchester Limited Edition Knives, still wrapped in perforated plastic, housed in a Winchester cedar-wood box! You can have your Bowie Knife, I'll take my Winchesters.
Don't procrastinate tidying up around the house, and, too, take the time to take a good look at things before you discard them.
Lesson learned: House cleaning can be valuable!