|Written by Lori Pankonin, The Imperial Republican|
Cleaning chores worth the effort
We returned to the cabin after allowing the suggested time for the bug bomb effects to air out. Oh the joys you find after something’s been closed up for the winter.
While Russ went through the checklist of getting the water turned on and headed down the hill to the well pit, I decided to get started sweeping the screened-in porch. No use attacking the kitchen without water.
Didn’t take long to work up a sweat in the heat of the afternoon as I swept and pulled the dirt-filled rug and some of the “stuff” outside. Cobwebs and silt pretty much blanketed everything, even what was covered by a tarp.
Alas, the water was on. What a precious resource that we take so for granted.
I hooked up the hose and continued more physical labor than I’m used to in getting it maneuvered around the building and through the porch door. As I sprayed the floor, I realized what a good thing that I already swept up those piles of dirt or it would have been a muddy mess.
Why stop at the floor? Suddenly I found myself spraying everything in reach—the walls, windows, tables, chairs and even myself. Ah. Nothing like a cold drink from a running faucet.
Off I went to my stash of rags and came back to scrub and wipe down the dripping fixtures. Wow. That worked pretty slick. This is definitely a process I’ll remember for the future.
Now to tackle the inside. Ugh! Where to begin? Might as well wipe out the fridge so we can get it plugged in.
I couldn’t help but recall the story from several decades back when the men took charge of shutting things down. How nice as the enthusiasm isn’t so strong at the end of the season. Well their idea of winterizing a kitchen meant unplugging the refrigerator. You might imagine the disgusting sight and smell created in that fridge from food items that weren’t removed.
In my adult life, we’ve always propped the fridge open after shutting it off, I guess to avoid a musty smell. But now I’m questioning that move.
You see, as I wiped down the inside walls and shelves, I removed one of the bottom drawers to find a multitude of mouse droppings underneath. Did they have a family reunion in there? It reminded me of the year we found a mouse nest in the grill, into which part of a tablecloth had been craftily woven.
Back to the fridge. All I could think of is what’s visible in mouse waste, there’s even more grossness that’s invisible. Eewwww!! Now I had to take all the shelves apart and scour everything for sure!
If only I could have just taken the hose to that, too, and to the cobwebs in the corner above. It was probably a good thing that the fridge cord had dropped beyond reach because it was indeed time to pull out the appliances, remove the crumbs and dirt and mop the tiles back to freshness.
The microwave sits on top of the fridge and it was clear that it needed moved to clean under it. Well what’s this? There was a packaged raspberry tort on top. It looked fresh. Hmmm? Has someone already stopped out this season?
Well there was no mold but it certainly wasn’t fresh. Goes to show the extent of preservatives that accompanied those raspberries.
Russ had returned home to mow, and Mom joined me for more scrubbing and then it happened. We took a break and enjoyed a sandwich on the deck in the evening splendor. That’s what makes it all worth it. Birds chirping. Fresh air. The sun going down. A relaxing chat with Mom at the cabin.
So what’s the big deal to have encountered the aftermath of creatures and dirt? It’s a true treasure to have a little get-away pad.
Holyoke Enterprise June 9, 2011