Friday, February 5, 2010

Changing the Sheets

All of our friends think David and I are weird.

Okay, we are.

But, they think we are weird because we are "steady," "predictable," "organized," and I guess, downright boring... cause...

If you call us on a certain day at a certain hour, we are doing the same thing that we were doing last week on that day at that hour.

On Fridays, David and I clean house. When I worked, David did a lot of this for me, but now that I am retired, we do it together on Friday mornings.

Sister: You can't take a break from this to talk to me on the phone?
Me: Nope, it's what we do.
Sister: Man. Inflexible.
Me: Thanks, that's a nice word for it.

Phone rings. {Laura's cell}
Laura: What are you doing?
Me: Cleaning the bathroom.
Laura: That's right. It's Friday. I love that about you people.

We get up on Friday mornings, and we clean house. I clean the bathrooms, David vacuums the carpet and mops the hardwoods. Every other Saturday, I dust.

Well, I dust when I think about it or when I can write the Magna Carta with my finger in the dust on the top of my dresser.

I used to think dusting needed to be done every week -- now, not so much. The other -- I can't go a week without it -- I have to have a clean bathroom, and I have to have clean sheets.

We also change sheets on Fridays as well. I take them off, David puts them in the wash, I put them in the dryer and then back on the bed.

Yep. Boring.


But, at least we change our sheets.

My parents grew up believing that all of their children needed to learn some basic skills to survive: yard work, grocery shopping, keeping a checkbook, and cleaning the house.

We cleaned house every, I mean, every Saturday morning.

We did not "sleep late" or "sleep in" on Saturdays -- we got up early and did housework and if needed, yard work. I did not learn to sleep late till I was in college. I learned other things too in college, but well, that's not for this blog.

*tee hee*

It was a painful upbringing; let me tell you.

We also did laundry on Saturday as well. Our washer ran all day long. Daddy would start the washer at 6 am with the sheets from my parent's bed, and then, we were awaken by 7:30 or 8:00 to do our "chores."

In the winter when we hung clothes on the line, my fingers would be so cold I couldn't move them. If it was too cold for the outside clothes line, my mother had a clothes line set up our attic that went from one side of the house to the other, or from eave to eave; we used that -- and a wooden drying rack that was placed over the floor heater in the hall.

I was excited when we got our dryer and quit having to hang laundry on the clothes line.

My dad consider himself on dryer duty. He loved that dryer.

When the buzzer sounded, he was yelling at us kids to take out that laundry so that the next load could be done. The buzzer of a dryer now can make me drool a little if I'm not careful.

Dryer buzzer: Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Daddy: Harriett Sue? Is that your laundry?
Me: Yes sir.
Daddy: Get it out. What do you think? We got all day?
Me: [grumble, grumble, grrrrrrrrr]
Daddy: You talkin' to me?
Dryer: Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Me: No sir.
Daddy: Is that thing still going off?

We all did our own laundry, and you really, really didn't want to be last.

We couldn't talk on the phone, make plans, do anything until the work was done.

We were assigned rooms of the house to clean.

The house was a three bedroom, one bath, living room, kitchen, and den set up --- since the children shared rooms [four of us -- two girls, two boys], one was assigned to clean the bedroom and the other assigned another room -- like the den or living room.

My mother was a drill sergeant. She wanted to make sure that we knew how to clean house. We were given strict lessons by her on the proper way to clean...

We moved all items from the surfaces before we dusted.

We washed aluminum blinds in the bathtub, but when that was done, every summer or spring or I don't know, it seemed like all the time --- when that wasn't done, we dusted them ... each individual blind.

We dusted baseboards and books on the bookshelves.

We swept floors, porches, sidewalks.

We changed the sheets on the bed, every week.

We moved furniture to clean behind them.

We vacuumed sofa cushions and removed them from the sofas, vacuumed under them and around them, and moved them about for "even" wearing. { If Daddy sat on the sofa a lot that week, we could pocket some coins that had fallen out of his pockets and down past the cushions.}

We gathered wastebaskets together and took out the garbage.

We vacuumed the shades on the lamps.

We gathered up a week's worth of newspapers and secured them with twine. {Yep, we recyled newspapers back then -- a place on our school grounds was called the Paper Hut -- and we took them there-- my school -- blog for another day.}


when we were done, she came behind us -- inspecting. Yep, inspecting. She was a formidable taskmaster, my mother, and she stood behind us, undaunted, indefatigable, until we finished to her level of satisfaction.

We were the only family whom I knew that lived this way.

When I went to college, I met people for the first time who did not change their sheets every week or clean their rooms.

I was like. Really?

A girl on our hallway, who was actually one of our resident assistants, did not change her sheets for a whole quarter.


Yep, according to her roommate, Wingate, this girl never changed her sheets. Her sheets were gray... and they were originally white.




Even though the laundromat was down two flights of stairs, across the commons area, and cost 25 cents to wash and 10 cents to dry for each 2o minutes, I, yes, I washed my sheets every week because that was all I knew. To fathom the idea of not doing so -- never crossed my mind.

Now, I will fudge on a little dusting.

I will fudge on moving the sofa to clean, vacuuming the cushions or moving them for wear, and dusting the shutters.

But, not washing the sheets?


and, this whole blog started because Tallulah, and really all cats I have ever owned, are all about changing the sheets.

When you shake the sheets out over the bed and it ripples.
Dr. Jim says it's because cats think there is an animal under there

Talluah says she likes to get her cat hair on the clean sheets cause she can.

I think it's because she knows she looks good on the finished product. Eh.

Meanwhile, I really hope you guys, change your sheets. Often.

You hear that, phews?


  1. So all I can say is I got tired just from reading this blog :P. My hubby's parents still don't have a dryer. I remember the first time I ever went to stay there when we were engaged and I thought my towel was an exfoliator it was so stiff and scratchy LOL. I don't think I can say enough of how much I love these childhood stories. I have to admit I felt bad that you never got to sleep in on Saturday. Being Jewish I didn't get to till after my Bat Mitzvah and I wasn't required to go to services every Saturday! :)

  2. Tallulah looks gorgeous on the finished product!
    I, too, gotta change those sheets! We used to hang our clothes on the line, too, until one time a Georgia thumper grasshopper (all colors, about 4 inches long) got in my sheets and made it into my bedroom. That night that grasshopper jumped on my face and I started screaming for Daddy as if I were being murdered - it was in the middle of the night. After that, Daddy told Mama to buy a dryer! Hallelujah!

  3. I can't even imagine life without a dryer... *ducks before someone throws something at me*

    But I do change my sheets once a week. Ish.

  4. I used to do my sheets once a week. That was before Nicholas. Now it's every Sunday and Thursday mornings. Any longer than that and I wake up with long blond hair in my mouth.

  5. Usually when we change the sheets, my cats ARE the animal under the sheets!

  6. I bought a top sheet 5 years ago, along with the rest of my bedding. It's still in the package.