Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cleaning: Northern and Southern Style?

The book Cold Sassy Tree briefly discusses the variations in housecleaning in the North and the South of the U.S. According to Cold Sassy's author, Southern ladies abided by seasonal spring and fall deep cleaning, whereas Northern ladies did the following: the entire house was cleaned each week and in that cleaning, one room was chosen for deep cleaning. I don't know if this is true; surely Marilla of Anne of Green Gables was a formidable housecleaner. The most cleaning I have ever heard of was my mother's best friend's mother, who dusted, mopped, and vacuumed her entire house everyday--living in West, Chester, Pennsylvania.

She was a very warm and jolly lady--by no means a shrew, despite her cleaning zeal. I used to visit her daughter's house--my Aunt Jane--as a little girl and always admired it. It was a duplex something like the house in the picture but with a red brick walk and sidewalk and with a wrought-iron fence. The kitchen was the most impressive room, because it was always clean as a whistle AND the kitchen dining table was always set for the next meal!

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