Lancaster County spring cleaning
“Those old Swiss farm wives, they knew how to clean,”
My husband’s aunt would say approvingly.
“Barn windows even sparkled with a sheen!”
Then she’d cast glances clearly meant for me.
My first Spring as a wife she’d often ask,
“Finished your cleaning yet, rett up the house?”
(Her Pennsylvania Dutch term for the task)
I felt duty-bound to ritual and to spouse.
“Bless her heart,” my husband said, “But stop.
Don’t let this yearly custom cause a fuss.”
So I stowed away resentment, bucket, mop,
And then reserved the warming weeks for us.
Tradition urges us to hold its view,
Yet Spring insists on making some things new.