The New Domesticity: A Merry Spring Cleaning


On bright spring mornings, my mom was prone to hum as she went about her housework. Occasionally the hum swelled, giving birth to words:

Open all the windows,
Open all the doors!
Let the merry sunshine
In upon the floors!

Such a merry approach to housekeeping made an impression on me. Her ponytail swinging to the rhythm of the scrubbing was indicative of my mom’s feelings: cleaning was hard work, but the effort and final product were well worth it, even worth humming about. And I know she was following her own mother’s example every time she added that elbow grease to her endeavors.

As the year blossoms into spring, I can’t help but think of how other women of the past faced their housework during the season of rebirth. Certainly the “merry sunshine” which streams “in upon the floors,” serves as a great stimulant, awakening in us a desire to freshen up and simplify. (Or, as a friend aptly stated, “It reveals how dusty my wood floors are!”)

To read more, pick up a copy of the April 2017 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

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About Author

Julianna Lawson and her husband, Jamie, make their home in Vancouver with their four children, ages 11 to 19.

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