It's spring, time to come clean about housework
It seems the government cannot stop making daylight saving time begin earlier and end later each year. It may soon reach the point where we have to spring ahead with our clocks the day after we had to fall behind.
We will wind up not knowing what day or time it is. Actually, I am like that now, and it's not so bad.
I guess the theory behind DST is that it leaves us more hours to get tasks and chores done. As with most theories, what is supposed to happen and what really does happen are two very different things.
The extra daylight has little or no effect on procrastinators such as me. I'm always running a season or two behind when it comes to indoor and outdoor chores.
I have to rake up and mulch leaves so I can take care of the lawn and other plants, something I was supposed to get to during the summer.
Then, I have to hurriedly bag countless leaves before they get covered with snow from the first winter storm.
(Personally, I would not mind if the leaves were covered by snow until the spring, but then I would have to deal with soggy leaves.)
Actually, indoor chores are not seasonal - with one notable exception. That is, of course, spring cleaning. This the most rewarding but least satisfying type of cleaning.
I may start in March and finish in July or August, but it gives me a good feeling to have sorted out all sorts of unnecessary paperwork, files, unworn or unwearable clothing and miscellaneous junk from my desk drawers, file cabinets and closets.
The problem is that nobody notices except perhaps the volunteers at the local Salvation Army store.
It's not like my wife and I have many people passing through our home. But even when we have new visitors and Jo Ann is giving a tour of the house, it probably would not be a good idea for me to open desk drawers and closets to show our guests what a good job I did.
However, I don't want to give you the impression that my cleaning is limited to closets and the drawers of furniture once a year. It turns out that I do have some talent for housecleaning.
When it comes to building something, fixing a leak or re-wiring a light fixture, I am the least-handy man you could imagine. My house insurance agent and local firefighters will provide ample proof of that statement.
I discovered my talent for cleaning right about the same time I confirmed my lack of skills in all things mechanical and electrical.
The only reason I received a barely passing grade in junior high industrial arts (shop) class was that the school's insurance premium would have doubled if I had to take the class again.
It was my misfortune that my school did not offer a class such as Housekeeping 101. I discovered my cleaning aptitude by helping my mother with spring cleaning.
(With three sons and a daughter running around, the spring cleaning was never quite completed. The only way Mom could have done that would have been to ship the four of us off to some unsuspecting relative for a week or two.)
I took an immediate liking to dusting. One plus it had was that I had virtually no chance of shocking myself - as long as I remembered not to dust the back of our console TV.
That's not to say that I made no mistakes to learn from. One that comes to mind was when I decided to use furniture polish to spiff up the wooden staircase. Wax and wood are not a recipe for safe stair stepping.
Dad was running late for an appointment and moving at a good pace when he reached the top of the steps. He looked like a ski jumper when his leather-soled shoes came in contact with waxed wood. Fortunately, he was pretty agile for a big guy and came to earth on his feet at the bottom with a landing that a Romanian gymnast would have been proud of.
Fortunately, the stairs in our home are carpeted, so Jo Ann doesn't have to worry about going airborne while trying to get from one floor to another.
At the risk of sounding immodest, I am fairly proficient with the vacuum cleaner. I did my early training with my mother's vintage cast iron Hoover upright, which was built more solidly than 95 percent of the cars of today.
The only weakness that keeps me from becoming a professional vacuum cleaner operator is an inability to deal with fringed rugs.
Wall-to-wall carpets are easy, but I swear if I get within a foot of a rug with a fringe, the rug tries to jump into the vacuum. My wife has to come to the rescue by pulling the plug and using scissors to "de-rug" the vacuum cleaner.
Maybe that's why she put me in charge of cleaning the outside of our second-story windows.
I do a decent job, but I would do a lot better job if we had a ladder. It's hard to hold on with one hand and clean with the other.
(Kozlowski, a freelance writer from Mount Carmel, composes "Walt's Way" for each Sunday edition.)