Thursday, May 10, 2007

help me wash my window

Since I have all these Mennonite mom types checking out my site, thanks to Dorcas. I thought I would give a little spring cleaning tip I learned while living in the hood. If you are like my mom, there is a spring window cleaning and a fall window cleaning. Because I was a student and a homeowner for the past 6 years, my windows didn’t get cleaned quite that often. However, this spring, it looks like the grit and the grime have won the war. So, I am contemplating a widow cleaning.

But instead of running to Wal-Mart or Target and grabbing that spray bottle of blue juice, I do it the Mennonite way. A splash of vinegar in the bottom of a big bucket and a tablespoon of ammonia, with a gallon or more of water will do the trick. Be sure to use cotton rags to wash and dry as it tends to be a better experience. One in the bucket. And one to dry. Yet the tip I am offering today is the newspaper trick, which I learned from my African-American neighbors. I saw whenever they went to wash windows, they would pull out the newspaper. It is the easy fix for an almost dry window pane, with a bit of streak and smudge on it. You just take crumpled newspaper and rub it vigorously and it comes out with the sparkle of new glass.

So, whenever I clean windows I remember my heritage, my family and my mom giving me the internal urge to clean at all. And then I remember how even though Mennonites are known for being the neat as a pin type, I can still stand to learn well from those around me. It reminds me to look, listen and be curious about others—eventually, becoming more like them in their strengths and bearing with them in their weaknesses.

Come now, help me wash my window, so that I can see more clearly. Then I will help you wash yours. The work goes so much faster when two labor together.

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