Dusty Lemon Memory


There are days when I try to take the speed approach.

I get out the Swiffer.  I zip around (well, as much as I can zip around) and reach and grab at the dust here and there.

For my own particular reason, I find I like what some think is the “old fashioned way”.  I like picking up each piece and wiping down the surface and then wiping each piece before replacing it.

I find you have to think about what you are touching.  Do you like this?  Do you want this?  What does this mean to you?  Whose was this?  Who gave this to you?  Why did you buy this?  And then often – Why is this here?  This touching exercise makes me think about each thing.

Was this my Mom’s way of thinking?  I like to think so.

“Make sure you get everything, including the rungs of the chairs”, were my instructions on dusting from Mom.

“Don’t just gloss over it, when for a few more seconds you’ve got the whole thing”.

Today, some may call it a touch of OCD.  Maybe it was.  I just know that was the way she was taught by her Mother, who was taught by her Mother, and so on.  I was taught the same way.  So then I guess I have it too.

“Dust all the rungs, and don’t forget the bottom of the chairs”,  Mom would remind me.

That thought runs through my head as I dust my own home.

Back then we dusted with an old shirt or a sock slipped on our hand (now you know what to do with that random sock!) and a can of Lemon Pledge.

For years I used old shirts or towels.  Now I use a micro-fiber cloth and a can of Lemon Pledge.  However, the process remains the same.

This mundane task for many provokes memories for me.  The smell of the Lemon Pledge, the sheen of the gleaming wood, and the touch of each item awaken senses and sometimes, I think I can even hear Mom’s voice as I remember dusting with her as a child.

My hand glides over the desk that my Grandmother Miriam sat to write cards, letters or her bills at.  I spray Pledge on the cloth (as appropriately taught) and rub the legs of the side board of Great Great Aunt Anna’s Lemmon side board.  The shine on Nan Nan’s piano brings up the cherry tones while the walnut perks up in the little side table that Great Great Uncle Bill made.  My dust cloth glides over the same wheel spokes of the tea cart that I dusted forty years ago under the direction of my Mom.

Our own present day kitchen table comes back to life with a happy shine and the rungs of the chairs get a happy wipe with special attention to the corners and the bottom rungs.

Mom would be proud.


6 thoughts on “Dusty Lemon Memory

  1. What a perfect response to this challenge! My dad always said, “if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” Don’t know where he got the phrase, but he said it often! Your mom obviously leaves the same sort of echo in your mind. Love it!

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