People mark the change in seasons in different ways. Some rely on the weather. Others trust a groundhog. Here are a few ways I know it's spring.
I know it's spring when the first thing I do every morning is take an allergy pill. As soon as my car gets a filmy yellow coat of pollen, I've got to stock up on antihistamines. I also stock up on tissues, cough drops and orange juice just to be safe. This year, I tried to be tough. I thought, my allergies aren't that bad. I don't need drugs. I can rely on natural remedies, like eating local honey. My resolve lasted one snotty, stuffed-up and achy weekend. Just say no? Yeah, right. Give me the drugs. Without them, I'm too miserable to get through the second rite of spring: spring-cleaning.
Everyone's idea of spring-cleaning is a bit different. Some people make elaborate lists of repairs and spruce up their entire house. For me, spring-cleaning just means trying on all my clothes and shoes and deciding what to keep, what to donate and what to trash. That's it. It's like playing dress-up for a couple hours. It's fun, because you rediscover outfits you've forgotten about. There is no actual cleaning involved.
My mom has an enthusiasm for cleaning that extends beyond any season. Every Saturday she cleans the house from top to bottom. Whatever tidy habits I have, she's taught them to me, whether I wanted to learn them or not. Some haven't stuck, like vacuuming. She vacuums every weekend. I only do it when I absolutely positively have to, because the sound of a running vacuum grates on my nerves . When I told her this, she got me a manual sweeper - one of those push brooms they use in restaurants that don't make any noise - to use in-between vacuuming. She talked about how much dirt and hair it would pick up and how useful it is at the restaurant where she works. I'm sure it is. I just don't have that kind of enthusiasm over dust and hair balls. I've used the sweeper once. Don't worry, Mom. I'll use it again before your next visit.
Although, maybe I should start using that push broom more. It might deter one of the third signs of spring -- bugs. Mostly bugs that decide to leave the outdoors, where they belong, and shack up in my apartment. I don't care how long you've lived in the south, you never get used to walking into your bathroom in the middle of the night and nearly stepping on a roach. I have a specific pair of flip-flops that I use for two things: going to the pool and killing roaches, because I'm not spoiling my good shoes with bug guts. Thanks to the mild winter, the insect population is supposed go wild this year. I'll have my flip-flops ready.
But it's okay. I know it's only a matter of time before I'm stocking up on suntan lotion, worrying about my air conditioning bill and picking ugly green worms off my tomato plant -- signs of summer.
--Contact Sara Pauff at 706-320-4469 or email@example.com. For more commentary, read her 20-something blog at www.ledger-enquirer.com/sara.