I grew up in rural New York State. The town was small but had a few industries, now gone.
We lived in town, until I was in high school, when the house that Dad built was completed and we moved 2 miles out of the town limits. At the time, I was devastated, I didn't drive and didn't get my driver's license until I left home later; I felt isolated out there. But, looking back, I have some good memories of the house and the property.
Years later, I began looking back and realized that there were things about the way we lived that are disappearing in most of American life. Those things tell a story about the family and about life in America in general that, I think, are worth remembering and honoring. When my son was a child, I told him some stories that he enjoyed hearing, about hayrides and ice houses, that he had no experience with and could only imagine.
I started collecting artifacts that exemplify and remind me of those aspects of life then that are mostly rare now. They bring back fond memories of a time and a life style that's mostly gone.
Here's one of those memories:
Spring cleaning was a huge project. I don't know if I actually remember it more than once but I think we did it every year. I remember spring cleaning at my maternal grandmother's house. It seemed like all my aunts were there helping. The procedure was to take everything - EVERYTHING - out of each room at a time and to clean the room from ceiling to floor, then each item and put to put everything back in its place.
We put the furniture and big things out on the back lawn, small things on the dining room or kitchen table, as I remember. Everybody had a job; Grandma was the boss, of course. She directed all the activity. My job was to beat the carpet which was hung, by the uncles, over the clotheslines. And this is what I used (not this one, I had to find one like my memory of my grandmother's):